(2019). Mediatisation in Twitter: an exploratory analysis of the 2015 Spanish general election, The Journal of International Communication,
The mediatisation model in politics assumes that media conveys political messages between parties and citizenship, with the risk of promoting issues that frame the electoral content in terms of competition. These dynamics could distract from the debate of ideas and political policies. However, digital media like Twitter provide direct communication channels between parties, candidates and users. The present research explores Twitter content during an electoral campaign focused on the four issues proposed by Patterson (1980) to assess mediatisation: political, policy, campaign and personal (regarding the candidate). The goal of this research study is to evaluate the degree of mediatisation on Twitter using this typology. The research also evaluates the influence of the issue on retweet volume. The study’s basis was a 15.8 million-tweet corpus obtained during the 2015 Spanish General Election pre-campaign and campaign. This dataset was analysed using an automatic classification system. The results highlighted a predominance of policy issues during both the pre-campaign and campaign, except for the two televised debates, during which campaign issues were the most prevalent. On the election night, users commented much more on political issues. Finally, the kind of issue most likely to be retweeted was policy issues.
Political communication, mediatisation, Twitter, electoral campaign, computer-assisted content detection