I have conducted voter surveys in Australia as part of the Australian Election Study team. We recently ran questions regarding voters and elites use of new media to participate in politics/campaign and they have proved to yield some very interesting findings (see Gibson and McAllister, 2006 Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties) demonstrating effects of web campaigning. While this may be context specific I think some questions in the voter/candidate studies to tap into internet use during the EP elections by citizens and parties/candidates would be of great use and interest to both elections scholars and those working in the area of political communication. The comparative dimension would be particularly fascinating.
I would like to submit an adapted version of the questions we included in the Australian candidate study of 2007 in this section of the forum for review by the study organizers and their possible inclusion in the Elections Study. The questions deal with online election news consumption and types of web campaigning engaged in plus a general measure of the candidates’ own internet skills/experience.
B.13. Did you provide any of the following services during the election campaign?
Personal website (independent of any party site) 1
Webpages on a party site 2
Email newsletter 3
Profile/pages on social networking site (e.g. myspace.com) 4
Videodiary/vodcasting (e.g.youtube channel) 6
Conducted a number of online chats with voters 7
Advertised my webpage and/or email on campaign literature 8
Personal weblog or ‘blog’ 9
Social networking profile (e.g. MySpace/Facebook profile)
B.14. In the election campaign generally, how important would you rate the following media for campaigning?
Very important Fairly
important Not very important Not at all important
Television 1 2 3 4
Radio 1 2 3 4
Newspapers 1 2 3 4
Internet in general 1 2 3 4
Personal website 1 2 3 4
Pages on external site (e.g. MySpace/YouTube) 1 2 3 4
Email 1 2 3 4
Personal weblog or ‘blog’ 1 2 3 4
H.11. When did you first start using the internet?
1 Within the last six months
2 About a year ago
3 Two or three years ago
4 More than three years ago