New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election

ISBN 10: 0415673933 / ISBN 13: 9780415673938
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Some political observers dubbed the 2008 presidential campaign as 'the Facebook Election'. Barack Obama, in particular, employed social media such as blogs, Twitter, Flickr, Digg, YouTube, MySpace and Facebook to run a 'grassroots-style' campaign. The Obama campaign was keenly aware that voters, particularly the young, are not simply consumers of information, but conduits of information as well. They often replaced the professional filter of traditional media with a social one. Social media allowed candidates to do electronically what previously had to be done through shoe leather and phone banks: contact volunteers and donors, and schedule and promote events. The 2008 Election marked a new era where the candidates no longer had complete control over their campaign message. The individual viewer in a campaign crowd with a cell phone can record a candidate’s gaffe, post it on YouTube or Flickr and within days millions will be gasping or guffawing. The traditional campaign, with its centralized power and planning, although not dead, now coexists with an unstructured digital democracy. New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election examines the way social media changed how candidates campaigned, how the media covered the election and how voters received information.

This book is based on a special issue of Mass Communication & Society.

About the Author:

Thomas J. Johnson is the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Centennial Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He has studied the role of new media in the presidential election since 1992 and has authored more than 50 articles and book chapters, primarily in the area of political communication. Previous publications include International Media Communication in a Global Age (2009).

David D. Perlmutter is Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow at The University of Iowa, USA. He is the author or editor of seven books on political communication including Blogwars: The New Political Battleground (2008). He has also written several dozen research articles for academic journals as well as more than 200 essays for US and international newspapers and magazines.

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