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Facebooking a different campaign beat: Party Leaders, the press and public engagement

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Karen RossORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications Ltd, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, are increasingly entrenched in politicians’ election campaign activities. Yet even as social media become more ubiquitous, evidence suggests that these widely used platforms normalise rather than equalise the existing power dynamics of the political landscape. Our study of the 2017 general election in New Zealand uses a mixed-method approach which includes analysis of five Party Leader’s public Facebook wall posts, campaign coverage in two daily and two Sunday newspapers and interviews with Party workers and MPs. Our findings show that Party Leaders exhibit low levels of interactivity with citizens and mostly use posts to promote campaign information, that citizens are more likely to ‘like’ a post than to share or comment on it and that there was little consonance between politicians’ post content and mainstream news campaign coverage.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ross K, Fountaine S, Comrie M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Media, Culture & Society

Year: 2020

Volume: 42

Issue: 7-8

Pages: 1260-1276

Print publication date: 01/10/2020

Online publication date: 27/02/2020

Acceptance date: 14/01/2020

Date deposited: 20/01/2020

ISSN (print): 0163-4437

ISSN (electronic): 1460-3675

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/0163443720904583


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