Trending to the Front Page: Does Interest Group Online Prominence Explain Offline Media Visibility?

Stream: Panel 12 - Australian Politics / Media & Politics:  Political Parties and Interests Groups
Date: Monday, 26 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm


The literature on organized interests abounds with studies of when groups appear in the print media and subsequent explanations for ‘getting in the news’ (Binderkrantz 2012, Kriesi et al. 2007, Grossman 2012, Tresch and Fischer 2015). Moreover, a new strand of research examines groups’ usage of social media platforms like Twitter (Chalmers and Shotton 2015, Van der Graaf et al. 2015). In this paper, we aim to connect both literatures by developing a framework for understanding how the online activities and positions of advocacy groups—through social media use and positioning in online networks—translate into visibility in traditional media outlets such as the mass print media. We test our theoretical framework via a comparative case study of the online behavior and offline visibility of advocacy groups in the United States and Australia. We use data from the universe of national groups in Australia, over a three month period. Our empirical analysis confirms the presence of a direct link between measures of online activity and the appearances of groups in major print media outlets.


Darren Halpin (Presenter), ANU

Bert Fraussen (Presenter), ANU

Herschel Thomas, University of Texas