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Understanding the Dynamics of Politicians’ Visibility in Traditional and Online Media

Mon, May 29, 11:00 to 12:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo 206


In this study, we examine the extent to which politicians’ visibility in traditional news coverage explains individual politicians’ online visibility, and vice versa. We also explore the extent to which visibility of politicians offline and online condition each other depends on commonly identified characteristics of the individual politician, including status, seniority, party affiliation, gender and age. We collected data on offline and online visibility for each elected MP from the 2012 Dutch national elections covering each 15 days prior to Election Day (N = 2,250). This includes 2,736 newspaper articles and 136,131 online entries. Our results have important implications for research that studies effects of political communication, determinants of news production, online/social media content as indicator of public opinion developments, and the relationship between different types of media. Specifically, we provide insight into the question whether online content might influence the offline news agenda on an aggregated level.