MEPs Political Communication Online: A Case Study of MEPs Elected in Lithuania

Ingrida Unikaitė-Jakuntavičienė, Sima Rakutienė

Abstract


This paper examines the use of Facebook and other online communication channels by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) elected in Lithuania for the 9th legislative term. Its major goal is to explore the most popular channels of communication online with voters used by MEPs elected in Lithuania for providing the information about their activities at the European Parliament as well as the strategies of communication used by MEPs and interaction of Facebook online audiences. To achieve the goal interviews with MEPs, Facebook profiles and websites of MEPs were analysed as well as public opinion poll results were discussed. Differences and similarities in social media usage of MEPs were found. All the MEPs have their Facebook profiles but not all of them have websites. Messages on the EP activities comprise usually just less than a half of Facebook posts Majority choose a video message format to present information on the EP activities. Dominating topics are related to the issues each MEPs is interested in. The analysis has discovered incongruence of the MEPs opinion and Lithuanian citizens opinion regarding the information on EP matters availability: MEPs think that the issue is not a lack of information instead a lack of interest in EP matters; Citizens report that they have not enough information. Though MEPs provide information using a variety of communication tools, it seems that information does not reaches the constituents and majority of MEPs should think about the new forms how to attract attention of citizens and be more visible.


Keywords


Political communication, European Parliament, MEPs, Social media, Facebook

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.