Research project

Paying attention to attention: Media exposure and opinion formation in an age of information overload

This project, led by Simon Munzert, aims to study activity on Wikipedia by politicians on the one hand and ordinary voters on the other. For political elites, Wikipedia’s popularity and reputation makes it an attractive medium for communication and campaigning. Citizens can use the platform to gather information about political issues as well as elites and thereby inform their political decisions and preferences. Fortunately, Wikipedia stores every detail of these interactions in publicly accessible edit histories, providing systematic information about the date, type, and source of each edit. Exploiting this unique set of information, the project is set out to yield insights into strategic behaviour by political elites as well as about the role of Wikipedia for digital campaigning and public attention in general. Furthermore, the richness of the data is used to generate new measures of political behaviour.


This project has received 40,000 EUR in funding from the Daimler and Benz Foundation. Simon Munzert is part of the 2017 cohort of postdoctoral fellows supported by the foundation.



Project lead