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2012 Presidential Debate: A good example of complementarity between television and social media

Yesterday evening, all Americans had their eyes turned on their TV for the first round of the U.S. presidential debate. In 1960, television had greatly changed the style of the presidential debate as the viewers were given a new perception of the candidates. Television then forced them to improve their debating skills and refine their image in order to catch people’s attention. Today, we are witnessing another transformation of the debating style. With the rise of social media, candidates need to go farther than television and be alert of what is going happening on social media.

In the past 50 years, candidates based their campaign around the message in their TV commercials and in their debates. Today, with the multitude of TV networks and the use of second screen (iPad, smart phone, laptop, etc.), citizens have now access to countless information 24/7. Politicians must adjust to this new reality. This is what Nomiki Konst explained in her article “How the Internet Is Transforming Our Presidential Debates and Forcing Candidates to Drop the Act” on

However, the rise of social media does not mean the end of TV. Instead, as David Goetzl explains in his article “Future Of TV Looks Bright Thanks To Social Media” on, television is still the most powerful way to quickly reach a large audience. Social media and second screens offer a breath of fresh air to television by allowing it to renew its creativity and send more information simultaneously.

To learn more about the role of television in politics and the future of television with the growth of social media, see the articles below:

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