The Presidency and Social Media : Discourse, Disruption, and Digital Democracy in the 2016 Presidential Election book cover
1st Edition

The Presidency and Social Media
Discourse, Disruption, and Digital Democracy in the 2016 Presidential Election

ISBN 9781138081543
Published October 26, 2017 by Routledge
390 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The media have long played an important role in the modern political process and the 2016 presidential campaign was no different. From Trump’s tweets and cable-show-call-ins to Sander’s social media machine to Clinton’s "Trump Yourself" app and podcast, journalism, social and digital media, and entertainment media were front-and-center in 2016. Clearly, political media played a dominant and disruptive role in our democratic process. This book helps to explain the role of these media and communication outlets in the 2016 presidential election.

This thorough study of how political communication evolved in 2016 examines the disruptive role communication technology played in the 2016 presidential primary campaign and general election and how voters sought and received political information. The Presidency and Social Media includes top scholars from leading research institutions using various research methodologies to generate new understandings—both theoretical and practical—for students, researchers, journalists, and practitioners.

Table of Contents


[Thomas E. Patterson]


Part 1: Media Use: Political Engagement & Digital Democracy

  1. Discourse, Disruption, and Digital Democracy: Political Communication in the 2016 Presidential Campaign
  2. [Dan Schill and John Allen Hendricks]

  3. Social Media, News Platforms, and Partisan Exposure: Voters’ Media Preferences During the 2016 Presidential Campaign Season
  4. [Michael A. Beam, Paul M. Haridakis, Myiah J. Hutchens, and Jay D. Hmielowski]

  5. Trump Supporters vs. Republican Voters: How Frustration with the Media Separated the GOP in 2016
  6. [Sharon E. Jarvis and Jay T. Jennings]

  7. Online Communication Regarding Ohio’s 2016 Presidential Primary
  8. [Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff, Leland G. Spencer, and Robert N. Burt]

    Part 2: Media Effects: Traditional Media & Social Media Distribution

  9. Foreign Policy and Presidential Elections: A Look at the Iowa Caucuses
  10. [Raluca Cozma]

  11. The Effects of Political Social Media Use on Efficacy and Cynicism in the 2016 Presidential Election: Exploring the Possibility of a Reinforcing Spiral
  12. [Benjamin R. Warner, Molly M. Greenwood, Freddie J. Jennings, and Josh C. Bramlett]

  13. Streaming entertainment and talking politics: Social television in the shaping of online and offline political talk during the 2016 campaign
  14. [Sarah Krongard and Jacob Groshek]


    Part 3: Candidate Discourse in Social Media: Image, Tone, & Rhetoric

  15. The Verbal Tone of the 2016 Presidential Primaries: Candidate Twitter, Debate, and Campaign Speech Rhetoric
  16. [David Lynn Painter and Katherine Rizzo]

  17. Themes in Candidate Messaging on Twitter During the ‘Invisible’ Presidential Primary
  18. [Kate Kenski and Christine R. Filer]

  19. Rhetoric in a Transmedia Storytelling Campaign: How Trump Deployed the Paranoid Style in 2016
  20. [Zac Gershberg]

  21. Humor use and Policy Mentions in Candidate Interviews across Talk-show Sub-Genres in the 2016 Presidential Election
  22. [Dannagal G. Young and Johanna M. Lukk]

    Part 4: Social Media Messaging: Candidate Branding & Agenda Setting

  23. Donald Trump and the "Oxygen of Publicity": Branding, Social Media, and Traditional Media
  24. [Sarah Oates and Wendy W. Moe]

  25. The Infographic Election: The Role of Visual Content on Social Media in the 2016 Presidential Campaign
  26. [Terri L. Towner]

  27. Tweets as Tools: Exploring the Campaign Functions of Candidates’ Tweets in the 2016 Presidential Campaign
  28. [Thomas Kim Hixson]

    Part 5: Social Media Content: Political Participation & Humor

  29. Internet Memes as Polyvocal Political Participation
  30. [Andrew S. Ross and Damian J. Rivers]

  31. Engaged Brigade: Digital Platforms and Millennial Engagement in the 2016 Election
  32. [Alison N. Novak]

  33. Donald Trump and the Late-Night Political Humor of Campaign 2016: All The Donald, All the Time

[Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, and Deanne Canieso]

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Dan Schill is Associate Professor in the School of Communication Studies and Affiliate Professor in Political Science at James Madison University, where he teaches courses in advocacy, political communication, research methods, and media and politics. His research focuses on communication, politics, media, and technology.

John Allen Hendricks is Chair of the Department of Mass Communication and Professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he teaches courses in communication theory, research methods, First Amendment law, and media and politics. Dr. Hendricks has authored/edited more than ten books on the topics of media/politics, social media/new media technologies, and the broadcasting industry.


'The Presidency and Social Media is the essential and authoritative guide on the use and impact of social media in the 2016 presidential campaign. This impressive and comprehensive volume exposes the good, the bad, and the ugly influence of social media in 2016 but also provides clues to future campaigns. The volume, without question, is the go to source for understanding the evolving role of media in political campaigns.' - Robert E. Denton, Jr., W. Thomas Rice Chair, Pamplin College of Business and Head Department of Communication, Virginia Tech

'Social media played an unprecedented—and complicated—role in the 2016 presidential election. Schill and Hendricks have assembled work by impressive scholars that examines this phenomenon from multiple perspectives. The volume is relevant beyond the electoral context, as the tactics employed in the campaign have carried over to governing in unanticipated ways. This rich and comprehensive work is destined to be a landmark in studies of social media, especially as scholars, practitioners, and the public seek to understand the consequences of social-media driven elections and "government by tweet."' - Diana Owen, Associate Professor of Political Science,  Georgetown University