MEPs Online: Understanding Communication Strategies for Remote Representatives
This source preferred by Darren Lilleker
Authors: Lilleker, D. and Koc-Michalska, K.
Start date: 22 September 2011
This article explores the use of the Internet by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), assessing the adoption of online communication as well as its strategic uses. In particular we analysed the websites, weblogs and social networking site profiles of all MEPs who linked to an online presence from the European parliament homepage, a total of 440 MEPs representing all 27 member nations. Through a thorough analysis of the content using a scheme designed to record the presence and functionality of 103 specific features and tools and recency of updates, we assess how MEPs use the Internet to connect with a range of audiences; from journalists to loyal supporters. We find MEPs embracing a range of features which would be appealing to a wide range of different visitors. There is a minor generational divide among MEPs based both on their age and the length of time their country has been a member of the European Union. However overall we suggest there is an ebb and flow of innovation within the online political communication of these parliamentarians.