Media Logic Revisited. The Concept of Social Media Logic as Alternative Framework to Study Politicians’ Usage of Social Media During Election Times
- 653 Downloads
This study investigates two tendencies that characterize the transformation of political communication; i.e. mediatization and de-centralization. More specifically, we assess Flemish politicians’ social media usage with respect to both tendencies. On the one hand, these platforms are used to appeal to journalists and on the other hand, they are used to communicate directly with voters. Our theoretical framework draws on two key concepts of the mediatization of politics; i.e. political logic and media logic. Furthermore, our framework integrates recent conceptualizations of social media’s logic to account for the role these platforms play in shaping politicians’ behavior. Based on in-depth interviews and a content analysis of politicians’ behavior on Twitter and Facebook, we show politicians adapt their messages to appeal to journalists. Adaptation is linked to politicians’ position in the political field and the political consensus culture. In addition, politicians’ efforts to connect with citizens are influenced by social media’s logic. Hence, de-centralization is characterized by the negotiation between online popularity (metrified via likes and shares) and the presentation of one’s political views. The presentation of a more “human” self and dialogue with citizens is balanced with the instrumental usage of social media in favor of politicians’ candidacy. Together, the findings show the intensification of the struggle over the legitimacy of one’s political views. Additional conceptual and empirical work are needed to critically assess the consequences of the multimedia environment for political communication, and in extension, democracy.
KeywordsSocial mediaSocial Media Media logicMedia Logic Mass mediaMass Flemish Nationalist Party Political communicationPolitical Communication
- Altheide, D. L., & Snow, R. (1979). Media Logic. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Bruns, A., & Moe, H. (2014). Structural layers of communication on Twitter. In K. Weller, A. Bruns, J. Burgess, M. Mahrt, & C. Puschmann (Eds.), Twitter and Society (pp. 15–28). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- De Cleen, B. (2010). Extreme right and Anti-extreme media in Flanders. In J. D. H. Downing (Ed.), Encyclopedia of social movement media (pp. 182–185). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Gibson, R., & Cantijoch, M. (2011). Comparing online elections in Australia and the UK: Did 2010 finally produce ‘the’ internet election? Communication, Politics & Culture, 44(2), 4–17.Google Scholar
- Graham, T., Broersma, M., & Hazelhoff, K. (2013). Closing the gap? Twitter as an instrument for connected representation. In R. Scullion, R. Gerodimos, D. Jackson, & D. Lilleker (Eds.), The media, political participation and empowerment (pp. 71–88). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Grosser, B. (2014). What do metrics want? How quantification prescribes social interaction on Facebook. Computational Culture. A Journal of Software Studies, 4. Retrieved from http://computationalculture.net/article/what-do-metrics-want.
- iMinds-iLab. O. (2014). Digimeter. Adoption and usage of media & ICT in Flanders. Wave 7. Ghent: iMinds-iLab.o.Google Scholar
- Parmelee, J. H., & Bichard, S. L. (2012). Politics and the Twitter revolution. How Tweets Influence the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
- Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Plotkowiak, T. & Stanoevska-Slabeva, K. (2013). German politicians and their Twitter networks in the Bundestag Election 2009. First Monday, 18(5). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3816.
- Rieder, B. (2013). Studying Facebook via data extraction: The Netvizz Application. In Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM Web Science Conference. Paris, France. 346–355. Google Scholar
- Schmidt, J.-H. (2014). Twitter and the rise of personal publics. In K. Weller, A. Bruns, J. Burgess, M. Mahrt, & C. Puschmann (Eds.), Twitter and society (pp. 3–14). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Serazio, M. (2015). Qualitative political communication managing the digital news cyclone: Power, participation, and political production strategies. International Journal of Communication, 9, 1907–1925.Google Scholar
- Sjöblom, G. (1968). Party strategies in a multiparty system. Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
- Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Strömbäck, J., & Esser, F. (2014). Mediatization of politics: Towards a theoretical framework. In F. Esser & J. Strömbäck (Eds.), Mediatization of Politics: Understanding the Transformation of Western Democracies. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 3–28.Google Scholar
- Tandoc, E. C., & Vos, T. (2015 September). The journalist is marketing the News. Journalism Practice.Google Scholar
- Tufekci, Z. (2014). Engineering the public: Big data, surveillance and computational politics. First Monday, 19(7). Retrieved from http://technosociology.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Zeynep-Computational-Politics-and-Engineering-the-Public.pdf.
- Van Aelst, P., van Erkel, P., D’heer, E. & Harder, R. (2015). Who is leading the campaign charts? Comparing individual popularity on old and new media. Presented at the International Communication Association conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico.Google Scholar
- Villi, M. (2012). Social curation in audience communities: UDC (User-Distributed Content) in the networked media ecosystem. Participations Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 9(2), 614–632.Google Scholar