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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is

Elites
Media
Parliaments
Social Media
Rens Vliegenthart
University of Amsterdam
Rens Vliegenthart
University of Amsterdam

Abstract

In current highly mediatized societies, political elites have to consider their public appearances carefully: how they express themselves in traditional and social media might have a profound impact on how they are perceived by the general public, and ultimately, whether they are (re-)elected. In this paper, I discuss the extent to which visibility, as well as other content features (issue attention, framing) of members of parliament in the media is affected by their perceptions about the importance of various media channels. In other words: are they more successful/active when they consider (forms of) social and traditional media more influential? To answer this question, I rely on a combination of an MP survey in the Netherlands (n=31) and a systematic content analysis of their social media activity, as well as news coverage in a variety of traditional media. The results provide insights in the degree to which politicians are successful in translating views on media importance in viable communication strategies.