Political Campaigns Have Abandoned Newspapers for Social Media

Algorithms and strategically positioned content on social networks are far more effective than journalistic reports and newspaper endorsements for political campaign purposes.

 

The social media campaigns of the Trump election in the United States and the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom are the two best examples of how politics have come to ignore traditional media in favor of engaging audiences online.

 

According to a recent analysis by Damian Tambini of British newspaper The Guardian, the Brexit referendum was boosted by the decision of the campaign directors to not spend millions of pounds in traditional advertising outlets such as newspapers, radio and television. The marketing agencies behind the campaign to leave the European Union determined that social media was not only a cheaper but also more efficient option than traditional option. Besides, British radio and television outlets tend to follow the views of the staid BBC, which is pretty much a pro-EU media outlet.

 

With regard to the Trump campaign, the stakes were higher and riskier because of the powerful, established opponent Hillary Clinton, who was the overwhelming favorite of the traditional media establishment. With nearly zero newspapers giving endorsements to Trump, the social media counteraction was swift and extremely effective.

 

The advantage of political campaigns conducted in social media is that they do not require the ability to spin issues, something that Trump is not very good at because he comes across as a snake oil salesman. Social media campaigns are about concrete goals such as getting more votes by any means necessary.

 

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