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Uses and Effects of New Media on Political

Communication in the United States of


America, Germany, and Egypt

von

Adel Saleh

Tectum Verlag
Marburg 2005

Saleh, Adel:
Uses and Effects of New Media on Political Communication
in the United States of America, Germany, and Egypt
/ von Adel Saleh
- Marburg : Tectum Verlag, 2005
Zugl.: Erlangen-Nrnberg, Univ. Diss. 2005
ISBN 3-8288-8903-4

Tectum Verlag

Tectum Verlag
Marburg 2005

Contents
FIGURES................................................................................................................. 11
TABLES................................................................................................................... 13
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................. 14
CHAPTER I: MEDIA AND POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING IN THE
CYBERSPACE AGE.............................................................................................. 21
1. Political Campaigns and Mass Media..........................................................................21
2. Methods of Communication in Political Campaigns ...................................................23
2.1 Interpersonal Communication Types.....................................................................23
2.2 Mass Communication Types ..................................................................................24
2.2.1 Paid or Controlled Media............................................................................................24
2.2.2 Non-Paid or Uncontrolled Media ...............................................................................25

3. Changing Communication Technology and the Future of Political Campaign...........25


3.1 Political Campaign Definition...............................................................................26
3.2 Political Campaign Communication Model ..........................................................26
3.3 Development Types of Political Campaign Communication .................................27
3.4 New Communication Technologies and Political Campaign ................................29
4. Internet and Political Communication .........................................................................30
4.1 The Internet and Political Campaigning ...............................................................37
4.2 Using the Internet in Electoral Campaigns ...........................................................38
4.2.1 Information Provision .................................................................................................39
4.2.2 Grassroots Networking ...............................................................................................41
4.2.3 Advocating..................................................................................................................41
4.2.4 Fundraising .................................................................................................................42
4.2.5 Interaction ...................................................................................................................43
4.2.6 Mapping and Targeting...............................................................................................44

5. Internet and Politics in the Communication Research Agenda ...................................45

CHAPTER II: THE INTERNET AS AN ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGNING


MEDIUM: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES....................................... 49
1. The Internet and Mass Media ......................................................................................49
1.1Communication Theory Perspective .......................................................................50
1.1.1 Online Communication in the Context of the Traditional Communication Model ....50
1.1.2 Types of Online Communication................................................................................51
1.1.3 Characteristics of Cyberspace Communication System .............................................52

1.2 The Critical Mass Threshold Perspective: Media Diffusion and Accessibility.55
1.2.1 Development in Access and Uses of Information Technology...................................55
1.2.2 Rate of Access and Use of the Internet.......................................................................56
1.2.2.1 Evaluating Information and Communication Technologies: the U.S., Germany,
and Egypt.........................................................................................................................57
1.2.2.2 Social, Economic, and Technological Aspects of the U.S., Germany, and Egypt
.........................................................................................................................................58
1.2.2.3 Operational Readiness and Network Policy in the U.S., Germany and Egypt ....58

1.3 Media Consumption Perspective: The Internet Compared to Classic Media .......61
1.3.1 Purposes of Using the Internet as a Mass Medium.....................................................62
1.3.2 Media Time Budgets and the Role of the Internet......................................................65
1.3.3 Online Advertising......................................................................................................67

2. The Internet and the Democratic Communication Perspective ...................................69


2.1 The Internet and the Expansion of Democratic Communication...........................70
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2.2 Communication and Empowerment Theory...........................................................71


2.3 The Internet as an Alternative Political Campaigning Medium............................72
2.3.1 Alternative Media Theory...........................................................................................73
2.3.2 Is the Internet an Alternative Medium? ......................................................................73

2.4 Searching for Alternatives: Old Media Challenges are New Media Opportunities
......................................................................................................................................74
2.4.1 Media Control.............................................................................................................75
2.4.1.1 Traditional Media and Control ............................................................................75
2.4.1.2 New Media and Control ......................................................................................78
2.4.2 Media Credibility........................................................................................................79
2.4.2.1 Traditional Media and Credibility .......................................................................80
2.4.2.2 New Media and Credibility .................................................................................82
2.4.3 Media and Interactivity...............................................................................................84
2.4.3.1 Traditional Media and Interactivity.....................................................................85
2.4.3.2 New Media and Interactivity ...............................................................................85
2.4.4 Media and Cost ...........................................................................................................88
2.4.4.1 Traditional Media and Cost .................................................................................89
2.4.4.2 New Media and Cost ...........................................................................................89

2.5 Challenges of the New Alternative Media Perspective..........................................91


2.5.1 Digital Divide .............................................................................................................91
2.5.1.1 Digital Divide in Theory .....................................................................................92
2.5.1.2 Digital Divide in Practice ....................................................................................94
2.5.2 Internet Surveillance ...................................................................................................97
2.5.2.1 Surveillance Experiences.....................................................................................99
2.5.3 The Potential of Internet Monopoly..........................................................................101
2.5.3.1 Forms Related to Access ...................................................................................101
2.5.3.2 Forms Related to Production & Delivery ..........................................................103
2.5.4 Cyber Attacks ...........................................................................................................105
2.5.5 Privacy Issues ...........................................................................................................106

3. Women, Politics, and the Internet: An Ideal Case of the New Medias Opportunities
and Challenges ...............................................................................................................111
3.1 Women and Politics: Gender Gap as Usual? ......................................................111
3.2 Womens Access and Control of Mainstream Media: Reason or Consequence of
Gender Discrimination? ............................................................................................113
3.3 The Internet and Womens Empowerment...........................................................114
3.4 Womens Access and Use of ICTs: a Multiple Gender Gap................................116
3.5 Womens Political Online Campaigning Initiatives ............................................117

CHAPTER III: CAMPAIGN STAKEHOLDERS AND THE INTERNET ... 121


1. Campaign Stakeholders .............................................................................................121
2. Campaigners and Online Campaigning .....................................................................122
2. 1 Indicators of Increasing the Role of the Web in Political Campaigning............124
2.2 Developing Campaigning Websites in the U.S., Germany and Egypt .................127
2.2.1 Parties Websites History..........................................................................................127
2.2.2 Levels of Development of the Campaign Websites..................................................128

2.3 Parties Objectives of Being Online ....................................................................133


3. Voters and Online Campaigning................................................................................136
3.1 Voters and the Importance of Campaigning Websites.........................................139
3.2 Voters Expectations from Online Campaigns ....................................................141
3.3 Voters Engaging in Online Campaigns ..............................................................144
3.4 Voters Trust in Online Campaigns .....................................................................145

CHAPTER IV: POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING WEBSITES IN GERMANY,


THE U.S., AND EGYPT: A CONTENT ANALYSIS STUDY ........................ 149
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1. Website Analysis: Possibilities and Constraints ........................................................149


1.1 Website Evaluation ..............................................................................................150
1.1.1 Website Construction Evaluation Guide...................................................................150
1.1.2 Political Website Evaluation Guide ..........................................................................153

1.2 Website Research Methodology...........................................................................154


1.2.1 Website Research Approaches..................................................................................155
1.2.2 Website Research Techniques ..................................................................................156
1.2.2.1 Content Analysis ...............................................................................................156
1.2.2.2 Hyperlink Network Analysis.............................................................................158
1.2.2.3 Survey................................................................................................................160
1.2.2.4 Experiment ........................................................................................................161
1.2.3. Web Analysis Methodology Problems ....................................................................162
1.2.3.1 Analysis Units ...................................................................................................162
1.2.3.2 Concept Definitions or Meanings......................................................................163
1.2.3.3 Archives or Getting the Web Materials (Web Repository) ...............................164
1.2.3.4 Data Collection..................................................................................................164
1.2.4 Technology to Overcome the Web Studying Methodological Problems .................165
1.2.4.1 Software to Analyze Types of Using the Websites ...........................................166
1.2.4.2 Web Archiving Software...................................................................................167
1.2.4.3 Software to Analyze Structural Aspects............................................................168
1.2.4.4 Software to Analyze the Web Content ..............................................................169

2. Party & Candidates Websites in Germany, the U. S., and Egypt.............................172


2.1 Literature Review.................................................................................................172
2.2 Study Questions and Expectations .......................................................................176
2.3 Research Method .................................................................................................177
2.3.1 Study Techniques and Coding System .....................................................................177
2.3.1.1 Web Search........................................................................................................177
2.3.1.2 Content Analysis ...............................................................................................177
2.3.2 Sample, Data Collecting, and Coding Procedures ....................................................178

2.4 Findings: German Party and Candidate Websites ..............................................179


2.4.1 Access and Visibility ................................................................................................179
2.4.1.1 Links to German Party & Candidate Websites..................................................180
2.4.1.2 Party and Candidate Websites Traffic Rank Average .......................................182
2.4.2 German Campaign Websites Function .....................................................................185
2.4.3 Structure of German Campaign Websites.................................................................190
2.4.4 German Websites Communication Style ..................................................................193

2.5 Findings: American Parties and Candidates Websites ......................................198


2.5.1 Parties Online Existence: Access and Visibility......................................................198
2.5.1.1 Links to the American Parties & Candidates Websites ..................................198
2.5.1.2 Party and Candidate Websites Traffic Rank Average .......................................199
2.5.2 Functions of U.S. Websites.......................................................................................200
2.5.3 The Structure of U.S. Websites ................................................................................204
2.5.4 Communication Style of U.S. Websites ...................................................................206

2.6 Findings: Egyptian Partisan Websites.................................................................208


2.6.1 Parties Online Existence: Access and Visibility......................................................208
2.6.1.1 Links to the Egyptian Parties Websites............................................................208
2.6.1.2 Parties Websites Traffic Rank Average ...........................................................209
2.6.2 Egyptian Websites Functions ..................................................................................210
2.6.3 The Structure of Egyptian Websites .........................................................................210
2.6.4 Egyptian Websites Communication Style ...............................................................211

3. Similarities & Differences in the Online Campaigning Performance among the


Examined Countries.......................................................................................................212
3.1 Websites Access and Visibility .............................................................................214
3.2 Websites Functions ..............................................................................................215
3.3 Website Structure .................................................................................................217
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3.4 Websites Communication Style...........................................................................218

CHAPTER V: THE EFFECTS OF THE INTERNET ON POLITICAL


PARTICIPATION................................................................................................ 222
1. Alternative Media Effects Perspective.......................................................................223
2. The Internet and Political Participation .....................................................................224
2.1 The Internet and Political Participation Theories...............................................225
2.1.1 Positive Effects on Political Participation (Mobilization Theory)............................226
2.1.2 Limited or No Effects on Political Participation (Reinforcement Theory)...............227
2.1.3 Why Reinforcement Theory Should Be Revisited....................................................228
2.1.3.1 Spread of Internet Access and Use ....................................................................228
2.1.3.2 Dominance of Knowledge on the American Case.............................................230
2.1.3.3 Revision of Political Participation Definition ...................................................231
2.1.4 Conditional Effects on Political Participation (Tentative Theory) ...........................232

3. The Internet and Political Participation Forms ..........................................................233


3.1 The Internet and Conventional Participation Forms...........................................234
3.1.1 The Internet and Partisan Activities..........................................................................234
3.1.2 The Internet and Voter Turnout ................................................................................235
3.1.2.1 The Direct Effects of the Internet on Voter Turnout .........................................235
3.1.2.2 The Indirect Effects of the Internet on Voter Turnout.......................................238

3.2 The Internet and Unconventional Participation Forms.......................................240


3.2.1 Online Communication and Network Theory...........................................................241
3.2.2 Social Networks and Political Participation .............................................................242
3.2.3 E-Networks and Political Participation.....................................................................243

4. Online Campaign and Development of Networked Communities ............................244


5. New Networking Techniques from the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election ..................246
5.1. Blog .....................................................................................................................246
5.2 NovemberCalling.Com.........................................................................................246
5.3 Fundraising Network: ActBlue ............................................................................247
5.4 Walk the Vote Sign Up .........................................................................................247
5.5 Participating in Local Events ..............................................................................248
5.6 Candidate Link Supporters ..................................................................................248
6. Proposed Model of the Relationship between the Internet and Political Participation
........................................................................................................................................249

CONCLUSION ..................................................................................................... 251


BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................................. 262
APPENDIX: .......................................................................................................... 294
Appendix 1: Scoring System: Website Analysis ...........................................................294
Appendix 2: Analyzed Party and Candidates Websites ...............................................296

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Figures
Figure (1): Model of campaign communications.................................................................27
Figure (2): Citizens and e-public administrations in Germany compared to some other EU15 states........................................................................................................................32
Figure (3): The Egyptian e-government project website as example of using the Internet in
poitical communication
...
..33
Figure (4): Congress.org: type of political using the Internet for several aspects;
information, advocating, and voting registration..................................................34
Figure (5): The Arabic website version of the Human Rights Watch. ................................35
Figure (6): Arabic website of an advocacy institute ............................................................36
Figure (7): Political advocacy website for supporting democracy in the Middle East........36
Figure (8): International political website for one of the anti-war movements ...................37
Figure (9): Development of Internet and Internet & politics-related studies.......................46
Figure (10): The online communication process in context of the source-message-receiver
model............................................................................................................................50
Figure (11): Purposes of using the Internet in EU-15 and Germany ...................................63
Figure (12): The most popular Internet activities in the U.S. ..............................................64
Figure (13): Media time budgets in minutes per day by age groups in Germany ...............65
Figure (14): Total TV & Internet audience by time of day in the U.S. ...............................66
Figure (15): Number of corporations that control a majority of U.S. media .......................76
Figure (16): Kerry vs. Kerry (Kerryopoly) online game reaches out to swing voters.........87
Figure (17): Percentage of the population using the Internet in the U.S., Germany, and....95
Figure (18): Bushs website was blocked maybe as a consequence of cyber attack. ........106
Figure (19): Spam as a percentage of incoming email ......................................................108
Figure (20): Gender distribution of Internet users worldwide ...........................................116
Figure (21): Frauenmachenkarriere.de is one of the Germen online initiatives advocating
women engagement in public life ....................................................................120
Figure (22): Online campaign stakeholders model............................................................121
Figure (23): The Die DIGITALEN partys website.......................................................123
Figure (24): The URL the website address was placed on all the traditional campaign
media..........................................................................................................................126
Figure (25): SPD, CDU, and B90/Die Grnen websites between 1996 and 2002 ...........130
Figure (26): The top candidates are interested in developing their own website ..............131
Figure (27): Howard Deans official blog.......................................................................132
Figure (28): Growing audience for politics online ............................................................137
Figure (29): More traffic on the German parties websites during the 2002 general election
....................................................................................................................................140
Figure (30): American presidential candidates websites become more traffic continuously
towards the election .........................................................................................140
Figure (31): Political websites credibiliy compared with other kinds of websites. ...........148
Figure (32): Networks topology example ..........................................................................160
Figure (33): Sdschleswigsche Whlerverband (SSW) online..........................................182
Figure (34): Meetup.com is one of the most popular virtual social networks in the U.S. .203
Figure (35): Comparing campaign website functions in the U.S., Germany and Egypt ...216
Figure (36): Comparing campaign websites structure in the U.S., Germany, and Egypt..217
Figure (37): Comparing campaign websites focus in the U.S., Germany, and Egypt......219
Figure (38): Comparing campaign websites tone in U.S., Germany, and Egypt .............220

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Figure (39): Comparing attacking on the campaign websites in U.S., Germany, and Egypt
....................................................................................................................................220
Figure (40): Development Internet users in Egypt 1999-2004. .........................................230
Figure (41): Influence of the Internet in voting process ....................................................237
Figure (42): The first Saudi election website.....................................................................240
Figure (43): The first fundraising network in the American election................................247
Figure (44): The Internet and types of participation..........................................................249
Figure (45): EgyptElection.com with photos, such as demonstrations against the
government ................................................................................................................253
Figure (46): Pro Mubarak campaigning website ...............................................................254

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Tables
Table (1): Kind of contact with a public administration through the Internet- EU 15 ........31
Table (2): The Internets importance as a political information source...............................40
Table (3): Number of communication- and Internet-related studies ...................................46
Table (4): Numbers of publications about the Internet and Internet & politics-related
studies ..........................................................................................................................46
Table (5): Classification of Internet & politics-related studies by subject ..........................47
Table (6): Tendency of communication studies from the political uses of the Internet ......47
Table (7): Trends in access to information technologies, EU-15, 1997-2001 .....................56
Table (8): The number of Internet users in some countries .................................................57
Table (9): Key facts about the three countries, 2002 ...........................................................58
Table (10): U.S, Germany and Egypt preparedness for networked world, 2001-2002 .......59
Table (11): Ad spending by media in the U.S. and online ad share ....................................67
Table (12): Ad market in Germany and online ad share......................................................68
Table (13): Gaps in access to the Internet in Germany as example of the study countries .96
Table (14): Bothered by emails from political campaigns.................................................109
Table (15): online political parties in the U.S., Germany, and Egypt................................125
Table (16): Development use of political campaigning websites in U.S., 1996-2004 ......126
Table (17): Search engines results related the American 2004 election............................127
Table (18): Some parties first archived website dates......................................................128
Table (19): Importance of different methods of communication from the parties points 133
Table (20): Main source of American Presidential campaign news ..................................138
Table (21): Young Germans turn to Internet for campaign news ......................................139
Table (22): Kinds of election that attract more attention of online users ..........................141
Table (23): Online citizens activities on the campaign website .......................................144
Table (24): Links to the German party websites................................................................181
Table (25): Links to the top German candidate websites ..................................................181
Table (26): Average of traffic on the German party websites ...........................................184
Table (27): Average of traffic to the German top candidate websites...............................184
Table (28): German party websites function .....................................................................188
Table (29): German top candidate websites function ........................................................188
Table (30): German party websites structure.....................................................................192
Table (31): German top candidate websites structure........................................................193
Table (32): German party websites communication Style.................................................196
Table (33): German top candidate websites communication style ....................................197
Table (34): Links to the American Party Websites............................................................198
Table (35): Links to the American presidential candidate websites ..................................199
Table (36): Average of traffic to the American party websites .........................................200
Table (37): Average of traffic to the American presidential candidate websites ..............200
Table (38): American party websites function...................................................................201
Table (39): American presidential candidate websites function........................................202
Table (40): American party websites structure..................................................................205
Table (41): American presidential candidate websites structure .......................................205
Table (42): American party websites communication style ..............................................207
Table (43): American presidential candidate websites communication style....................207
Table (44): Links to the Egyptian party websites ..............................................................209
Table (45): Average of traffic to the Egyptian party websites...........................................210
Table (46): Egyptian party websites function....................................................................210
Table (47): Egyptian party websites structure ...................................................................211
Table (48): Egyptian party websites communication style................................................212
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