A recent study reveals that politicians rely more on social media than TV talk shows to shape and deliver their messages to their target groups and present their nearness to the people.
Department of Communication and Media Research of University of Zürich, Switzerland researchers-Nicole Ernst, Sina Blassnig, Florin Büchel, Frank Esser and Sven Engesser from Technische Universität Dresden, Germany,conducted the study in 2015.
The researchers analyzed 1,579 statements by political actors across the 48 taped programs. The statements were orated by 110 politicians, in the study period, from six countries -Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, UK, and the U.S. The researchers also analyzed the politicians’ Facebook and Twitter posts dispatched in the study time.
The politicians whose activities were analyzed communicated their populist messages through social media rather than the traditional media “to bypass gatekeepers and disseminate messages without interference,” the study said. Twitter is found to be less suitable for populist communication by the politicians compared to Facebook, the study said.
It also stated that Democratic Party politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Claire McCaskill preferred television on their populist communication, while Republican Politicians as John Boehner and Newt Gingrich tended to use social media.
In terms of talk shows, the study found that American shows, compared to their European counterparts, tend to offer more liberty and less journalistic interference, which gives opportunities to the politicians to apply populist communication.
To read more: https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118823358
Ernst, N., Blassnig, S., Engesser, S., Büchel, F., & Esser, F. (2019). Populists Prefer Social Media Over Talk Shows: An Analysis of Populist Messages and Stylistic Elements Across Six Countries. Social Media + Society.