The Impact of the Media in Election Campaign During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Case of Kosovo
Keywords:media, election campaign, permanent campaign, political parties, COVID-19 pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2021, Kosovars overthrew the national government, which generated a snap parliamentary election. The pandemic affected the election campaign with the restrictions of movement amid strict lockdowns. The pandemic revealed the significance of media usage for political parties and the impact of the pandemic on the relationship between traditional and social media. This article explores the extent to which new and transitional media shaped the election campaign during the Kosovan pandemic. Drawing on media monitoring and surveying, the article found that media—regardless of the quality and frequency of their use by political parties and candidates—do not have a determining role during the pandemic election campaign. Under the conditions of ever-greater use of social media, the article finds that voting preferences and affinity towards specific political parties and candidates is a long-term process that cannot be changed by the quality of the election campaign. On the other hand, regardless of their use, the potential impact of social media turns out to be conditioned by the usage duration and the ability of political entities to interact with the audience.
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