Social Media and Election Campaigns
In a uncommon, long-format presentation, Gunn Enli from the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Olso shared her preliminary analyses surrounding twitter and the upcoming 2012 US election. Specifically, her research team investigated what characterizes the dynamics between social media and mainstream media in political agenda-setting, and how this dynamic impacts the relationship between national and global public spheres.
Gunn justifies her research suggesting that social media changes the nature of political communication and is a new area for power negotiations and agenda-setting. Her findings imply that twitter is now used by all candidates but the typical user is a young, republican. Moreover, rather than using social media to interact with others, politicians tweet to broadcast favorable messages or attacks on rivals. Interestingly, Gunn’s team also found that journalists act as gatekeepers of information on twitter, as they only follow and popularize the political elites.