Grassroots to Voting Booths: A Study of the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Traditional Media Coverage and Social Media Impact in 2016 United States Presidential Candidates



Heneghan, Scott

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The subject of social media effect on elections has been studied in multiple peer reviewed journal articles, however the effect of social media on traditional media in elections is not as well studied. This thesis reviews the space time patterns of Twitter and how tweets can potentially correlate to future news coverage from local newspapers in different parts of the United States. This study is being done in relation to the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. The correlation between one week of tweets and newspaper reports was compared against the tweets from a previous week to the newspaper reports. Local trends were reviewed in order to determine if social media is in fact a driver of change using Pearson product moment correlation. Limited correlation was detected between the values as a result of sparse data from local newspapers, which do not contribute a significant number of reports regarding national elections.



2016 election, Twitter, Social media, Traditional media, Spatiotemporal