Campaigns are still one of the most interesting fields for the analysis of political communication. Trends, phenomena, strategies and tools of political communication are especially abundant in election campaigns. In particular, the entry of the digital age into campaign work has transformed the playing field in recent years. Communication between candidates and voters is more direct and spontaneous. At the same time it becomes more and more difficult to break through the maze of voices in the net with one's own messages. Bots, fake news and echo chambers present candidates with new challenges. The digital age offers potential for candidates, with big data and increasingly sophisticated analysis methods offering enormous reach for their messages. At the same time, it poses new challenges with new opponents, algorithms that are extremely difficult to understand, and a roughening discussion culture. This project course will focus on the possibilities and challenges of digital communication in election campaigns.
Structure of the project course:
The project course begins with a theoretical introduction to political campaigns in general and a specification on digital communication. At the end of the theoretical part of the course, students shall be able to create a definition of a “good campaign” regarding political, ethical and electoral goals. Subsequently, various election campaigns taking place in spring 2020 will be examined in more detail. Students will analyse individual campaigns in more detail and focus intensively on a self-chosen campaign throughout the course of the project. The different analyses of digital communication in campaigns shall be compared, along with theories of digital campaigning. Results shall be discussed with practitioners throughout the course and the final analysis presented to them.