Specifics of Communication in Lithuanian Voting Campaigns, 2012-2016
Abstract The rapid growth of the numbers of unaffiliated voters and the internet users caused politicians' interest in these audiences and the start of their activities in these communication channels by establishing more personalized relationships with voters. This paper aims to analyze the communication of main parties and their candidates in social media channel “Facebook” and in popular Lithuanian internet news media portals, such as delfi.lt, lrytas.lt and others before the Parliamentary elections in 2012 and the forthcoming 2016 Parliamentary elections. Both quantitative and qualitative aspects of campaign coverage in the media portals and Facebook are analysed. The paper addresses the following questions: How important are factors such as new party emergence, parallel referendum campaign, and activity of using social media for the final result of elections? How active were the politicians in the Facebook? What content dominated their profiles? How much personalized were their messages? What strategies were used for communication? Did the politicians aim at mobilizing or at persuasion the voters? Involvement of citizens, voters' turnout and political results are linked with campaign arguments and the value normative environment. We conclude by providing the discussion on the noticed tendencies and possible improvements in the communication of candidates for the future.
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