Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 18, 2013

Messages, Micro-targeting, and New Media Technologies

  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania and Director of its Annenberg Public Policy Center.

    EMAIL logo
From the journal The Forum


This article argues that new media technologies are likely to elicit changes in the content, tone, and potential electoral impact of those campaign messages micro-targeted through them, with a resulting increase in the level of unaccountable, deceptive, pseudonymous campaigning. Access to data-mined information will increase the likelihood that the candidate with the larger war-chest will gain an advantage by changing the composition of the electorate. In a world of micro-targeted messaging, reporters have greater difficulty holding sponsors accountable and policing deception.

Corresponding author: Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Annenberg School for Communications, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA, e-mail:

About the author

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania and Director of its Annenberg Public Policy Center.

  1. 1

    Excluding money spent by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) which sponsored its ads with Obama for America and the Republican National Committee (RNC), spending totaled $361,641,510.

  2. 2

    Source: Kantar Media CMAG.


Andersen, K., and T. Clevenger, Jr. 1963. “A Summary of Experimental Research in Ethos.” Speech Monographs 30: 59–78.10.1080/03637756309375361Search in Google Scholar

Ansolabehere, S., S. Iyengar, A. Simon, and N. Valentino. 1994. “Does Attack Advertising Demobilize the Electorate?” American Political Science Review 88 (4): 829–838.10.2307/2082710Search in Google Scholar

Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Shanto Iyengar. 1995. Going negative: How politicalSearch in Google Scholar

advertisements shrink and polarize the electorate. New York: The Free Press.Search in Google Scholar

Arceneaux, K., and D. W. Nickerson. 2009. “Who is Mobilized to Vote? A Re-analysis of 11 Field Experiments.” American Journal of Political Science 53 (1): 1–16.10.1111/j.1540-5907.2008.00354.xSearch in Google Scholar

Berlo, D., J. Lemert, and R. Mertz. 1969. “Dimensions for Evaluating the Acceptability of Message Sources.” Public Opinion Quarterly 33: 563–576.10.1086/267745Search in Google Scholar

Elliot, J., ed. 2006. The debates in the several state conventions on the adoption of the federal Constitution, as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia, in 1787, orig. pub. 1840, Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library.Search in Google Scholar

Fowler, E. F., and T. N. Ridout. 2013. “Negative, Angry, and Ubiquitous: Political Advertising in 2012.” The Forum 10: 51–61. doi:10.1515/forum-2013-0004.10.1515/forum-2013-0004Search in Google Scholar

Franz, M. M. 2013. “Interest Groups in Electoral Politics: 2012 in Context.” The Forum 10: 62–79. doi:10.1515/forum-2013-000710.1515/forum-2013-0007Search in Google Scholar

Goldstein, K., and P. Freedman. 2002. “Campaign Advertising and Voter Turnout: New Evidence for a Stimulation Effect.” Journal of Politics 64 (3): 721–740.10.1111/0022-3816.00143Search in Google Scholar

Green, D. P., and A. S. Gerber. 2008. Get Out the Vote: How to Increase Voter Turnout. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Search in Google Scholar

Jamieson, K. H. 1984. Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising (First Edition). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Jamieson, K. H. 1992. Dirty Politics: Deception, Distraction and Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Jamieson, K. H. 2013. Electing the President, 2012. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.10.9783/9780812209273Search in Google Scholar

Jamieson, K. H., and P. Waldman. 2003. The Press Effect: Politicians, Journalists, and the Stories that Shape the Political World. New York: Oxford University Press.10.1093/0195152778.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Kenski, K., B. Hardy, and K. H. Jamieson. 2010. The Obama Victory: How Media, Money and Message Shaped the 2008 election. New York: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Knight Foundation. 2013. 2012 Election Crushes Records for Campaign Advertising. in Google Scholar

Lupia, A., and M. D. McCubbins. 1998. The Democratic Dilemma: Can Citizens Learn What They Need to Know? New York: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Mayer, J. 2013. “A word from our sponsor.” The New Yorker. in Google Scholar

New York Times. 2012. “A shift in energy ads.” September 3, in Google Scholar

New York Times. 2012. “2012 Elections: The Aftermath.” November 12, in Google Scholar

Popkin, S. 1994. The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Search in Google Scholar

Prior, M. 2007. Post-Broadcast Democracy: How Media Choice Increases Inequality in Political Involvement and Polarizes Elections. New York: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9781139878425Search in Google Scholar

Rosenstone, S., and J. M. Hansen. 1993. Mobilization, Participation and Democracy in America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Sniderman, P. M., R. A. Brody, and P. E. Tetlock. 1991. Reasoning in Choice: Explorations in Political Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511720468Search in Google Scholar

Tsukayama, H. 2013. “Microtargeting has Growing Influence in Political Campaigns, Says Interactive Advertising Bureau.” The Washington Post. in Google Scholar

Winneg, K., B. Hardy, J. Gottfried, and K. H. Jamieson. (in press). “Deception in Third Party Advertising in the 2012 Presidential Campaign.” American Behavioral Scientist.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2013-10-18
Published in Print: 2013-10-01

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

Downloaded on 5.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button