Big data raise major research possibilities for political communication scholars who are interested in how citizens, elites, and journalists interact. With the availability of social media data, academics can observe, on a large scale, how people talk about politics. The opportunity to study political discussions is also available to media organizations and political elites—examining how they make use of big data represents another fruitful scholarly trajectory. The scholars involved in Digital Discussions represent forward thinkers who aim to inform the study of political communication by analyzing the behavior of and messages left by citizens, elites, and journalists in digital spaces. By using a variety of methodological approaches and bringing together diverse theoretical perspectives, this group sheds light on how big data can inform political communication research. It is critical reading for those studying and working in communication studies with a focus on big data.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Big Data in Political Communication
Natalie J. Stroud & Shannon McGregor
Chapter 2: Normalizing Digital Trace Data
Chapter 3: Everything Old is New Again: Big Data and Methodological Transparency
Chapter 4: Ignorance or Uncertainty: How the "Black Box" Dilemma in Big Data Research May "Misinform" Political Communication
Chapter 5: Why Don’t Tweets Consistently Track Elections? Lessons from Linking Twitter and Survey Data Streams
Josh Pasek and Jake Dailey
Chapter 6: Inferring Individual-Level Characteristics from Digital Trace Data: Issues and Recommendations
Chapter 7: The Technical, the Personal, and the Political: Understanding Journalists and News Users’ Engagement in the New York Times Comments Section
Chapter 8: Is Yik Yak a Platform for Political Communication? Exploring College Students’ Communication on an Emergent Social Media Platform
Chris Vargo and Toby Hopp
Chapter 9: Data-Driven Campaigning
Chapter 10: "Little Marco," "Lyin’ Ted," "Crooked Hillary," and the "Biased" Media: How Trump Used Twitter to Attack and Organize
Ayellet Pelled, Josephine Lukito, Fred Boehm, JangHwan Yang, and Dhavan Shah
Natalie Jomini Stroud is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the School of Journalism, Director of the Center for Media Engagement, and Assistant Director of Research at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on selective exposure, media effects, and the role of journalism in a democracy.
Shannon C. McGregor is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at The University of Utah. Her research interests center on political communication, social media, public opinion, gender, news, and data. Her research has been published in the Journal of Communication, Political Communication, New Media & Society, Information, Communication & Society, Social Media + Society, and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.