Levels of interactivity in the 2007 french presidential candidates' websites

This source preferred by Darren Lilleker

Authors: Lilleker, D.

Journal: European Journal of Communication

Volume: 25

Pages: 25-42

ISSN: 0267-3231

Within many discussions of disengagement between the public and political sphere, the Internet is offered as a potential solution capable of bridging the gap between elected and elector. E-communication tools have been increasingly prominent during many recent election campaigns, and new technologies and practices are constantly being adapted and included in the professional campaigner’s toolbox. While previously regarded as a laggard in adapting to the Internet, much attention was given to the 2007 French Presidential candidate’s use of the a range of Internet tool; reports suggested they have moved beyond simply providing information but were opening up a dialogue with the electorate. This interactivity is an element with the capacity to reduce disengagement and revitalise democracy However, in defining interactivity, we note the trend online is to think of participatory open dialogue as opposed to closed sender-receiver feedback loops. In order to assess the role interactivity played within this contest, and to gain some sense of the future use of interactive tools, we tested a sample of pages from the websites of Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal, the two main challengers in the contest, against a six part interactivity model and analysed the discourse and language in terms of it encouraging interaction. While we found some shifts in behaviour, the campaign retained the caution that is normal for electoral candidates which reduced the extent to which participatory interactivity took place.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Lilleker, D.G. and Malagón, C.

Journal: European Journal of Communication

Volume: 25

Issue: 1

Pages: 25-42

eISSN: 1460-3705

ISSN: 0267-3231

DOI: 10.1177/0267323109354231

Amid many discussions of disengagement between the public and political sphere, the Internet is offered as a potential solution capable of bridging the gap between elected and elector. E-communication tools have been increasingly prominent during recent election campaigns, and much attention was given to the 2007 French presidential candidates' use of the Internet. It was suggested they had moved beyond simply providing information and were opening up a dialogue with the electorate. This interactivity has the capacity to reduce disengagement and revitalize democracy. However, in defining interactivity, the trend online is to think of participatory open dialogue as opposed to closed sender-receiver feedback loops. In order to assess the role interactivity played within this contest, and to gain some sense of the future use of interactive tools, this study tested a sample of pages from the websites of Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, the two main challengers in the contest, against a six-part interactivity model, and analysed the discourse and language in terms of its encouraging interaction. While some shifts in behaviour were found, the campaign retained the caution that is normal for electoral candidates, which reduced the extent to which participatory interactivity took place. © The Author(s) 2010.

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