English title: Levels of Interactivity in the 2007 French Presidential Candidates’ Websites

Author(s): Darren G. Lilleker - Casilda Malagón -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2010

Abstract

Amid many discussions of disengagement between the public and political sphere, the Internet is offered as a potential solution capable of bridging the gap between elected and elector. E-communication tools have been increasingly prominent during recent election campaigns, and much attention was given to the 2007 French presidential candidates’ use of the Internet. It was suggested they had moved beyond simply providing information and were opening up a dialogue with the electorate. This interactivity has the capacity to reduce disengagement and revitalize democracy. However, in defining interactivity, the trend online is to think of participatory open dialogue as opposed to closed sender—receiver feedback loops. In order to assess the role interactivity played within this contest, and to gain some sense of the future use of interactive tools, this study tested a sample of pages from the websites of Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, the two main challengers in the contest, against a six-part interactivity model, and analysed the discourse and language in terms of its encouraging interaction. While some shifts in behaviour were found, the campaign retained the caution that is normal for electoral candidates, which reduced the extent to which participatory interactivity took place.

Volume: 25

Issue: 1

From page no: 25

To page no: 42

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0267323109354231

Journal: European Journal of Communication