New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election

1st Edition

Edited by Thomas J. Johnson, David D. Perlmutter


144 pages

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Some political observers dubbed the 2008 presidential campaign as 'the Facebook Election'. Barack Obama, in particular, employed social media such as blogs, Twitter, Flickr, Digg, YouTube, MySpace and Facebook to run a 'grassroots-style' campaign. The Obama campaign was keenly aware that voters, particularly the young, are not simply consumers of information, but conduits of information as well. They often replaced the professional filter of traditional media with a social one. Social media allowed candidates to do electronically what previously had to be done through shoe leather and phone banks: contact volunteers and donors, and schedule and promote events. The 2008 Election marked a new era where the candidates no longer had complete control over their campaign message. The individual viewer in a campaign crowd with a cell phone can record a candidate’s gaffe, post it on YouTube or Flickr and within days millions will be gasping or guffawing. The traditional campaign, with its centralized power and planning, although not dead, now coexists with an unstructured digital democracy. New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election examines the way social media changed how candidates campaigned, how the media covered the election and how voters received information.

This book is based on a special issue of Mass Communication & Society.


‘I especially recommend the article by Regas and Kiousis for use in classroom discussions. In addition, most of the articles in the collection contain interesting methodologicaldiscussions for scholars in the field.’ – Kirsten Mogensen, MedieKultur

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Facebook Election Thomas J. Johnson and David D. Perlmutter 2. Intermedia Agenda-Setting and Political and the 2008 Presidential Election Matthew Ragas and Spiro Kiousis 3. The 2008 Presidential Campaign: Political Cynicism in the age of Facebook, MySpace and YouTube Gary Hanson and Paul Haridakis 4. Did Social Media Really Matter? College Students' Use of Online Media and Political Decision Making in the 2008 Election Matthew Kushin and Masahiro Yamamoto 5. The 2008 Presidential Election, 2.0: A Content Analysis of User-Generated Political Facebook Groups Julia Woolley, Anthony Limperos and Mary Oliver 6. The Writing on the Wall: A Content Analysis of College Students' Facebook Groups for the 2008 Presidential Election Juliana Fernandes, Magda Giurcanu, Kevin Bowers and Jeffrey Neely

About the Editors

Thomas J. Johnson is the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Centennial Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He has studied the role of new media in the presidential election since 1992 and has authored more than 50 articles and book chapters, primarily in the area of political communication. Previous publications include International Media Communication in a Global Age (2009).

David D. Perlmutter is Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow at The University of Iowa, USA. He is the author or editor of seven books on political communication including Blogwars: The New Political Battleground (2008). He has also written several dozen research articles for academic journals as well as more than 200 essays for US and international newspapers and magazines.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies