E-Electioneering: Use of new media in the 2007 Australian federal election

Massey University
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Power and Place: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2008, 2008, pp. 1 - 21
Issue Date:
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Like the 2007-2008 US presidential primaries, the 2007 Australian federal election was described as 'the YouTube election' and an 'internet election' (Media Monitors, 2008). This followed studies of use of what are termed 'new media' for political communication in a number of campaigns including the 2000 US presidential election (Bentivegna, 2002, p. 50) and the 2004 US presidential election which was described as 'a critical turning point' (Xenos and Moy, 2007, p. 704). However, the development of web 2.01 internet media, expanding broadband, and other changes have overtaken many findings of previous research. Some of the most popular new media currently in use were 'invented' post-2004. The rapid rate of technological and social change makes new media research particularly time-bound and indicates that ongoing empirical studies and analysis are needed. This paper contributes to understanding of how new media are used in political communication and how they influence the public sphere (Habermas, 1989, 2006), particularly looking at public interaction and participation (Carpentier, 2007) which have been identified as key features of web 2.0 media and as requirements of an active public sphere, based on findings of a study conducted by the Australian Centre for Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney during the 2007 Australian federal election.
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