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Political Communication in the Era of New Technologies


Edited By Bogusława Dobek-Ostrowska and Jan Garlicki

New technologies and new media have significantly influenced the process of political communication. They have created new opportunities such as the great interactivity of communication, the personalization of a message or an uncountable number of possibilities for campaigning. This publication is a collection of socio-political studies which analyze the phenomenon of political communication in the 21 st century. The main focus is on new media, especially on the Internet as well as on social media or social networks. However, there are also papers which examine traditional channels of political communication in the era of new technologies. Moreover, to the advantage of this book, the chapters explore the phenomenon of political communication not only in the USA and Western Europe, but also in Central Europe, Latin America and Africa.


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Part III: Election Campaigns in New Media


Part III Election Campaigns in New Media 9. Between tradition and innovation: Election campaigns for the European Parliament in Germany (1999–2009) Jürgen Wilke Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, Germany Abstract: The chapter is based on three comparable studies of campaigns for the European Parliament in Germany (1999, 2004, 2009). After basic definitions and distinctions, seven framework conditions are identified (voter turnout, budget, extent of media coverage, person- alization, national focus, transnationality, and position in the election cycle). Then four types of campaigns are described. The main question is how campaigning changed particularly through the use of technologies and media that have been developed only recently. Neverthe- less there still exists continuity, deriving from the relatively constant amount of money in- vested in the campaigns. But particularly the use of the Internet increased. In 1999 this medi- um was primarily used for information. Interactive elements were not available and were not used. In 2004 the Internet served already as a central instrument within the campaign, but the target groups were still primarily the party members. The European election campaign in 2009 was then shaped by the Web 2.0 in its promotion of the interaction between parties, members and potential voters. The parties’ websites have been opened for interactive ele- ments. Direct communication has been extended furthermore through SMS, E-Mail or Twit- ter, being added to traditional channels as letters, posters and street ads. Key words: European Parliament, Election Campaigning, Germany, Internet, Web 2.0 Introduction If we are concerned with...

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