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Digital Media

Transformations in Human Communication

Edited By Paul Messaris and Lee Humphreys

The age of digital media has given rise to a new social world. It is a world in which the transmission of information from the few to the many is steadily being supplanted by the multi-directional flow of facts, lies, and ideas. It is a world in which hundreds of millions of people are voluntarily depositing large amounts of personal details in publicly accessible databases. It is a world in which interpersonal relationships are increasingly being conducted in the virtual sphere. Above all, this is a world that seems to be veering off in unpredictable ways from the trends of the immediate past. This book is a probing examination of that world, and of the changes that it has ushered into our lives.

In more than thirty essays by a wide range of scholars, this must-have second edition examines the impact of digital media in six areas – information, persuasion, community, gender and sexuality, surveillance and privacy, and cross-cultural communication – and offers an invaluable guide for students and scholars alike. With one exception, all essays are completely new or revised for this volume.

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Chapter 10: Changing Campaign Tactics in the Age of Digital Media: Reflecting on a Decade of Presidential Campaigning (Jennifer Stromer-Galley)


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Changing Campaign Tactics in the Age of Digital Media

Reflecting on a Decade of Presidential Campaigning

Jennifer Stromer-Galley

In the 2016 presidential campaign, one candidate truly surprised political pundits. Businessman Donald J. Trump, running to be the nominee for the Republican Party, demonstrated that he had a political message and appeal that resonated with voters, making him the candidate to beat going into the political primaries when the party faithful vote for the person they want to run in the general election.

Trump ran an unconventional campaign: He was self-funded, meaning that he did not have to raise money; he held gigantic, football stadium-sized rallies, rather than the more typical small forums and meetings; he wrote most of his own tweets; and he posted 15-second advertisements on Instagram—making him the first candidate to use Instagram for attack ads.

By 2016, digital media were fully entrenched in the daily strategic moves of presidential campaigns. Ten years earlier, however, campaigns were just starting to figure out how they might use Internet-channeled communication platforms—from Web sites to e-mail to online forums (Stromer-Galley, 2014). This chapter addresses an important question: How has presidential campaigning changed as a result of new digital media? This question presupposes that campaigning has changed as digital technologies have been developed and used by campaigns; it is a safe supposition. In a number of ways, from strategic messaging, to measuring the...

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