Some concepts are too new to be found in the types of sources you see in Gale Virtual Reference Library and the Credo Academic Core Collection databases. Newsjacking was one of nine words that made it to the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year shortlist for 2017 (youthquake was the winning word that year).

I first heard the term newsjacking in a USA Today article shortly after Hurricane Sandy. The author of the article quoted partners from Mindset Digital, a social media consulting company, who used the term newsjacking as a phenomenon that occurs when a person or a company attempts to use an event, in this case a natural disaster, for their own gain.

However, others, such as Grant Hunter, author of Newsjacking: The Urgent Genius of Real-Time Advertising and  David Meerman Scott (who markets himself as a “newsjacking strategist” and claims he pioneered the term in 2011) put a positive spin on the term, viewing it as a way to “generate sales leads and add new customers,” even describing it as “the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed” (

The article “The Dynamic Role of Social Media During Hurricane #Sandy: An Introduction of the STREMII model to Weather the Storm of the Crisis Lifecycle” in the scholarly journal Computers in Human Behavior mentions newsjacking in a section discussing the “dark side uses” of social media.

Can you think of examples when you have seen newsjacking in action?


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