Internet Influence on Political Communication: Enforcing Immediacy and Transparency

TitleInternet Influence on Political Communication: Enforcing Immediacy and Transparency
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Maarek, P. J., S. Bentivegna, A. Crigler, C. Holtz-Bacha, and N. Kersting
Affiliation (1st Author)Universite Paris Est IC member
Section or WGPolitical Communication Research Section
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodePOLW3b
Slot Code (Keyword)POLW3b
Time of Session14:00-15:30
Session TitlePANEL Internet influence on political communication
Submission ID5652

With the surge of the audiovisual media since the 1950s, politicians have had to drastically change the way they are communicating with the citizen – and the media -  and have been compelled to considerably "professionalize" their political communication. With Internet and the quick rise of social media in recent years, the changes in political communication have even been more radical and quicker: top-down communication from political leaders and governments is not any more the only possibility, any citizen is now able to become a public communication broadcaster thanks to the instant horizontal communication now possible. This panel will try to assess how, in most democracies, electoral campaigns are not any more about winning, but about not losing: any minute mistake of a campaigning politician may be instantly reverberated and amplified on the Web by any passer-by handing out a smartphone. The panel will also look into the fact that, similarly, governments now seem to endure the same pressure on immediacy and transparency in an unheard way, being on permanent scrutiny by citizens quick to use social media to contradict them, which could question the possibility of caring about long-term political decisions rather than answering these short-term demands.

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