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Title: Oral rhetoric and digital media : the Twitter campaign of the 2016 American presidential election
Authors: Mifsud Joslin, Ben
Keywords: Online social networks -- Political activity -- 21st century
Online social networks -- Political aspects
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 2016
Internet in political campaigns
Issue Date: 2018-12
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of English
Citation: Mifsud Joslin, B. (2018). Oral rhetoric and digital media : the Twitter campaign of the 2016 American presidential election. Antae Journal, 5(3), 258-271.
Abstract: The idea that social and other online media are key platforms for political rhetoric is hardly novel at this point. Few will deny the influence that Twitter had on the 2016 American Presidential Election as a means of engaging and communication with a wider audience. This paper questions what it means to be successful practitioner of online rhetoric, ultimately arguing that persuading a digital audience heavily involves knowing how to evoke their humanity in ways that been consistent since classical observations of rhetoric as an art and practice. Therefore, this paper explores the audio-visual qualities of Twitter which allowed Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders to use Twitter as a means of projecting an authentic human persona, particularly by emulating an oral mode of delivery through written social media posts. Simply put, their audiences should have been able to “hear” them through online posts, despite the fact that the primary means of engagement of Twitter is text. Ultimately, this paper argues that this sense of oral delivery is essential to our understanding of the 2016 election, as well as our conceptions of contemporary rhetoric. Twitter, as a digital space, has created a platform where we can conceptualise digital orators.
Appears in Collections:Antae Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3
Antae Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3

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