“Twitter in the Age of Attack Journalism on the Campaign Trail”
University of Colorado Boulder, December 2013
Election campaign coverage around the world is increasingly seeing the challenges and implications of phenomena such as personalization, gaffe-obsession, horse-race coverage, shortening sound and image bites and attack journalism, leaving the electorate with fewer information to base their ballot decisions on. But these trends are much more pronounced in the United States than in western European countries, of which this study examined Germany as an example.
I compared underlying political communication mechanisms in both countries to explain the above named contemporary trends in election campaign coverage on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This evaluation of the current situation laid the foundation to explore seven direct implications that the microblogging service Twitter and journalists’ use thereof have on the coverage of campaigns in the United States and Germany. Ultimately, I explain how these seven factors all have the ability to reinforce attack journalism in a digital social-media realm.
Full paper: Twitter in the Age of Attack Journalism
“The Mobilizing Capacity of the News Media in Local Elections”
University of Colorado Boulder, April 2014
For the graduate seminar “American Subnational Governance,” I compared existing literature on voter turnout in local metropolitan elections with findings and knowledge of the mobilizing capacity of the news media. The paper shows that coverage of local political issues does have an impact on the voter turnout in municipal elections. At the same time, scientists found vastly different effects for print/online and TV news coverage.
University of Colorado Boulder, April 2015
As part of my final reporting project for my MA degree, I examined campaign messaging in the context of winning media coverage and votes in the setting of presidential battleground states – hence the subhead, “How 2016 presidential campaigns should say what they want to say in the swing state of Colorado.” The paper describes the difficulties of crafting a coherent message in a swing state environment, what such a message needs to entail in the case of Colorado and how both Republicans and Democrats need to tweak that message to sway voters their way. Finally, I talk about the challenges for campaigns in dealing with the political press corps and the ensuing love-hate relationship between the two entities.
Full paper: Message Matters