Political familiarity vs. journalism background: insights from three Israeli prime ministers on social media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To explore a potential relationship between politicians’ media background and social media success through an analysis of content and engagement strategies adopted by three consecutive Israeli prime ministers on their official Facebook pages. Design/methodology/approach: A detailed comparative content analysis of a total of 1,242 posts published by three Israeli prime ministers – Benjamin Netanyahu, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett – on the same official Facebook account, “the Prime Minister of Israel,” during their respective terms. Metrics like engagement rates, content distribution and media type utilization were considered. Findings: All analyzed prime ministers exhibited consistent messaging strategies, suggesting a standardized approach to digital political communication. However, we found no correlation between a politician’s media background and their success on social media. Instead, decisive determinants of engagement outcomes were factors like longstanding political exposure and familiarity. Practical implications: The observed uniformity in leaders’ messaging strategies indicates a prevalent standardized approach in digital political communication, revealing potential avenues for innovation and diversification. Originality/value: This research challenges the prevailing notion that background in media inherently benefits digital political engagement, emphasizing the significance of political experience. The results provide new insights into the evolving landscape of political communication. Using signaling theory to evaluate how digital content reveals leaders’ intentions and credibility, our findings provide new insights into political communication in the digital era.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOnline Information Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Elections
  • Facebook
  • Online campaigns
  • Political identity
  • Social media

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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