New Media Approaches to Presidential Campaigning: Barack Obama's Centralized Control and Ron Paul's Spontaneous Organization in 2008 and 2012
Chen, Hui Jung
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Media and politics are a developing ecology of mutual evolution in presidential campaigns. Political media and mediated politics play an ever-increasing role in the dissemination and discussion of social and political information. They impact the way we perceive politics, approach culture and society, and understand and interact with the world. The relationship between media and politics is an evolution that can be traced through time with the use of developing media technologies of traditional media in past presidential campaign strategies to new media strategies in present practices. In the last few decades, two media shifts have marked key moments in the growing influence of media and presidential electoral politics—the use of television in presidential debates in the 1960s and the incorporation of Internet capabilities in the 2000s. This dissertation examines the form and context of media and politics, focusing on Barack Obama and Ron Paul in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. The two candidates were covered differently by mainstream media which affected their new media campaign strategies—Obama from a centralized control approach and Paul using spontaneous organization.