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This book highlights the diverse methods needed to study a complex media environment, and the nuance and richness of the understanding gained by doing so, by offering examples of political communication research considering multiple platforms simultaneously.
Political communication research that considers multiple media platforms is difficult and expensive to perform, and therefore relatively rare. Yet studying media platforms in isolation ignores the realities of the varied and complicated contemporary media experience, where most individuals consume information from multiple media outlets. Media platforms, from traditional outlets such as newspapers and television to newer online platforms such as social media, have proliferated in recent years. This makes the media environment itself more complex, as classic understandings of how the media function give way to a growing recognition of the hybrid media system, where divisions between content and producers are opaque, and where information is gleaned from increasingly diverse and numerous sources.
Studying political communication across platforms allows better understanding of which types of experiences and effects are universal, and which are specific to particular platforms.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Political Communication.
About the Author
Leticia Bode is an Associate Professor in the Communication, Culture, and Technology Master's Program at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., USA. Her work lies at the intersection of communication, technology, and political behavior, emphasizing the role communication and information technologies may play in the acquisition, use, effects, and implications of political information.Emily K. Vraga is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University, Fairfax, USA. She researches how individuals process information about contentious political, scientific, and health issues in digital media, and tests methods to correct misinformation, limit biased processing, and encourage attention to diverse content.