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Title: Emotional culture? : an investigation into the emotional coverage of televised leader debates in newspapers and Twitter
Author: Kimmich, Morgane Daniele
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 3143
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis studies how emotions are used in and around TV debates by politicians during debates, by newspaper journalists in their coverage of debates and by Twitter users following debates and reacting to their coverage. Although emotions have been the focus of many studies recently, the literature that combines emotions with politics, journalism and social media remains limited. To fill this gap in knowledge, my research involves two case studies: the 2010 British election, where TV debates were held for the first time, and the 2012 American election, where debates are a long-standing tradition. For this purpose, my research is guided by the following research question: how far did political candidates, print media and Twitter users use emotions and emotional references in the 2010 British and 2012 American televised leader debates and their coverage? To answer this research question, I carried out a content analysis of the three British and four American debate transcripts; a framing analysis of 104 articles from the New York Post and 223 articles from The New York Times as well as 93 articles from The Sun and 238 articles from The Guardian; and, finally, a content analysis of a sample of American (30,000 tweets) and British tweets (3,000 tweets) posted during the debates period. These analyses reveal two key findings. Firstly, the manipulation of different forms of emotionality by politicians (e.g. to convince voters, defend themselves, criticise others) during the debates failed as Twitter users mainly displayed negative emotions in relation to politicians' emotions. Secondly, journalists' attempt at manipulating different forms of emotionality (e.g. to praise their favourite candidate or discredit another) failed too as Twitter users mainly expressed negative emotions regarding the coverage of the debates. Thus, it appears that emotions are not a means for politicians and journalists to interact with Twitter users as the manipulation of emotions by politicians and journalists failed to convince most Twitter users.
Supervisor: Hammond, Philip ; Rietveld, Hillegonda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral