Adoption and Use of Digital Media in Election Campaigns: Australia, Canada and New Zealand Compared

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Peter John Chen
Peter Jay Smith


This article examines the role of digital media in three recent national election campaigns: Australia in 2007 and Canada and New Zealand in 2008 . Examining the process of technology adoption and strategic use by parties and individual candidates, it explores similarities and differences in the use of these evolving campaigning channels. Against the current literature on variables influencing technology adoption, specific attention is given to the use of different communication channels as tools to target specific audiences, the adoption of a wide variety of technologies to ensure broad (‘mass’) reach, and the co-ordination of messages across different platforms. The analysis aims to identify structural, organisational, technological and cultural determinants of variation in the adoption and deployment of these technologies.

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