Who is leading the campaign charts? Comparing individual popularity on old and new media
|Authors and Corporations:||, , ,|
|published:||Ghent University Academic Bibliography, 2015|
|Media Type:||Article, E-Article|
Traditionally, election campaigns are covered in the mass media with a strong focus on a limited number of top candidates. The question of this paper is whether this knowledge still holds today, when social media outlets are becoming more popular. Do candidates who dominate the traditional media also dominate the social media? Or can candidates make up for a lack of mass media coverage by attracting attention on Twitter? This study addresses these question by paring Twitter data with traditional media data for the 2014 Belgian elections. Our findings show that the two platforms are indeed strongly related and that candidates with a prominent position in the media are generally also most successful on Twitter. This is not because more popularity on Twitter translates directly into more traditional media coverage, but mainly because largely the same political elite dominates both platforms.