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Award for top performing politics paper in #1 journal

Posted on 26/09/2016
Ballot Box

Dual screening; watching television while using social media

The American Political Science Associated has awarded academics from Royal Holloway’s Politics & International Relations Department the 2015 Best Article Award for their work into the effects of discussing televised election debates on social media.

Professors Andy Chadwick and Ben O'Loughlin and Dr Cristian Vaccari were awarded the prestigious prize for the article, published last year in the Journal of Communication, the number 1 journal in Media and Communication in all the main journal rankings. 

The article used an innovative method to uncover the surprising and encouraging effects of ‘dual screening’ political debates on political engagement. The paper concluded that people who use social media to discuss broadcast election debates are more likely to become engaged in politics as a result.

The article inspired a feature by the Washington Post .

Dual screening; Democracy and social media

Dr Vaccari spoke of the prize, “We are honoured by the award, not only because it comes from a prestigious institution, but also because it recognises one of the most audacious research enterprises we have ever conducted. Dual screening televised political events is a new phenomenon that requires innovative theoretical thinking and unconventional research designs that can really get inside such complex events and their implications for citizens.”

He explained, “Our findings suggest that the new opportunities for engaging with political discussions around televised leaders' debates have overall positive implications for different types of citizens' political participation. We believe this is an important conclusion that runs counter the widespread notion that social media have worsened the quality of public discourse and can turn people off politics. Citizens' engagement with politics is an important component in the quality of our democracy and our research shows that dual screening is more likely to enhance than to depress it.”

Earlier this year Professor Andrew Chadwick was also awarded the 2016 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award for his ‘creative, innovative, and interdisciplinary’ title, The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power.

Learn more about Politics & International Relations at Royal Holloway.


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