Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Media Communications

First Advisor

Emmett Coffey

Second Advisor

Frank O'Donovan


Political communication occurs as a by-product of any political action. It can either be managed or not. The traditional methods of communication are still very prevalent in Irish political communication. The party maintains a strong role in communicating, but it does not infringe overly much on is national and local representatives.

The traditional mass media are play a crucial role in facilitating communication but the emergence of web 2.0 applications in social media is slowly beginning to revolutionise political communication in Ireland.

The evolution of communications tools over the past number of years has revolutionised the PR industry, and therefore it can be argued, revolutionised communications as a whole. As more people interact with New Media there is a greater desire for more information and transparency. In fact never before has information been so readily available to the general public. Every New Media user is a possible journalist, expert or opinion leader.

Social media has been to the fore of this information movement. Blogs, wikis, podcasting and social media sites are free online tools with which the world is talking.

The traditional media is enduring a period of decline, but has not been, as many predicted destroyed by the emergence of new technology. Rather we are seeing an integration of the old and the new media.

Some sections of Irish society have adopted new trends quicker than others, in general the late teens to early thirty year olds are the most likely to interact with the New Media. This will change over time as these demographics age and as the children of today grow up in a more digitalised Ireland.

The emergence of this new technology will present some challenges for political communication in Ireland. Media fragmentation, the loss of conversation control and the possibility of an increased issue life cycle are all of concern.

One of the most critical elements of political communication, electioneering, occurs when a candidate decides to seek election to office. What follows is combination of marketing and public relations techniques as each candidate tries to communicate and create a relationship with electorate.

This study seeks to highlight the growing influence of web 2.0 application and to explain how they are changing the dynamic between the communicator and the person being communicated with, in the political sphere in Ireland.

Access Level