Dual Screening the Political: Media Events, Social Media, and Citizen Engagement

Cristian Vaccari, Andrew Chadwick, Ben O'Loughlin

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Dual screening—the complex bundle of practices that involve integrating, and switching across and between, live broadcast media and social media—is now routine for many citizens during important political media events. But do these practices shape political engagement, and if so, why? We devised a unique research design combining a large-scale Twitter dataset and a custom-built panel survey focusing on the broadcast party leaders' debates held during the 2014 European Parliament elections in the United Kingdom. We find that relatively active, “lean-forward” practices, such as commenting live on social media as the debate unfolded, and engaging with conversations via Twitter hashtags, have the strongest and most consistent positive associations with political engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1061
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number6
Early online date28 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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