Political Campaign Communication in the Information Age: Some Difficulties With Basic Concepts

Political Campaign Communication in the Information Age: Some Difficulties With Basic Concepts

Norbert Merkovity
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0377-5.ch010
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According to scholars, the use of mediatization could be understood as communicative representation of politicians. From this perspective, the concept of mediatization in politics is not an automatism, it is a functional principle of media, more preferably the social media. To understand this activity of politicians on social media, the online attributes of broadcasting media could be conceptualized as self-mediatization of politics. The chapter will look through some of the most used concepts in political communication that aim to interpret the communicative nature of politicians in online campaigns. The used communication techniques on social media set the focus of analysis on the insufficiency of above-mentioned concepts). Besides presenting the main difficulties of basic concepts, this chapter aims to introduce the phenomenon of attention-based politics as a possible solution to research on political campaign communication in information era.
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Ecosystem Of The Online Environment

The works on the ecosystem of online campaigns, internet tools, and social networking sites often include studies on shares, likes, contacts, information exchanges, online activism, etc., and naturally on the effects of communication. Early developments of this were written in a positivist attitude because the first ‘communities' worked based on direct electronic democracy.1 The Millennium years changed this attitude towards the internet and online communities, also the aspect had changed how people use the online communities, moreover the web 2.0. The so-called dark side of the internet emerged too and became visible in research, for instance the terrorists' networks (Maréchal, 2017; Orenstein & Kelemen, 2017), the supposed intervention attempts of Russian crackers in the American presidential elections and the Brexit referendum in 2016 (Bessi & Ferrara, 2016; Narayanan et al., 2017), hate speech (Ross et al., 2016), and the spreading of fake news (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017; Berkowitz & Schwartz, 2016) could be mentioned here. The list can be well expanded until it gets to the users who, for example, are also able to challenge the positivist perception by deliberately insulting other users (Cheng et al., 2017; Pongó, 2016. The fair warning of these studies is that the communicational environment has changed in the past decades, and this kind of situation influences the everyday life of people. The real question is whether there is a noticeable effect in their behavior, could it still describe by the impact of the earlier mediums?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interactivity: On new ICTs, it has three forms: user-to-system, user-to-user, and user-to-document interactivity.

Politicians, Representatives: In democracies, they are usually directly elected by the people.

Broadcast Media: Traditional media with an editorial that has links to ‘new' media (part of hybrid media).

Mediatization: In the world of politics, it refers to politicians' strategic use of broadcast and social media.

Attention-Based Politics: Refers to the situation where the nature of the struggle for the attention of voters changes.

Self-Mediatization: “Self-initiated stage-management”.

Interaction: It can represent the interaction between humans and computers, or the cooperation of computers with each other.

Political Communication: Role of communication in the political process.

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