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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