Words That Matter: How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Leticia Bode, Ceren Budak, Jonathan M. Ladd, Frank Newport, Josh Pasek, Lisa O. Singh, Stuart N. Soroka and Michael W. Traugott

Reviewed by Glen Smith



The 2016 presidential election will always hold a unique place in American history. Much ink has been spilled trying to explain why Donald Trump became the Republican nominee and eventually defeated Hillary Clinton in the general election. Any historical account of the 2016 presidential campaign is insufficient if it does not include some explanation of the role played by new and traditional news media outlets. Fortunately, Words That Matter: How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Campaign provides an extensive, thorough, and detailed examination of media coverage of this important election. Perhaps more importantly, it also examines how particular messages in media coverage captured the attention of Americans over the course of the campaign.

This book presents the results of a very ambitious project aimed at capturing the ways traditional and social media shaped the 2016 presidential election. Specifically, the authors performed extensive content analyses of traditional and social media using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. At the same time, they conducted public opinion surveys using innovative questions that capture the topics Americans were thinking about immediately after media coverage of important campaign events. For readers interested in the intricacies of data collection, Chapter 3 provides a thorough review

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