- The amount of references of Spanish political parties in journal sites and social media is analyzed.
- Graphics about mass and social media references are discussed.
- According to raw numbers, Partido Popular shines above the rest.
- Smaller parties yield the best results related to number of votes.
In a previous entry, I published the number of references on the major Spanish cities in digital and social media. In this post, the experiment is repeated this time with Spanish political parties. Is the ruling party over-hyped? Or maybe minorities get too much news?
The methodology is quite simple: the party acronyms are search in Google News in Spanish, and we get the number of references. So be careful, because different meanings for the same acronym is not filtered out. Nor alternate searchs with full party names are executed (i.e just "PSOE" and not "Partido Socialista"). But in some cases, Google News returns associated terms (i.e. when "PP" is typed, Google News also returns results for "Partido Popular").
The first graphic shows the raw number of references in Google News of each party.
The X-axis shows the parties, sorted by decreasing of votes (ruling party is PSOE). Y-axis shows the number of references. We can see the high amount of references that Partido Popular has in comparison to PSOE, almost two times! PSOE doesn't get much better numbers if more complex searchs are done (i.e. psoe OR partido socialista).
The second graphic shows the number of references related to number of voters.
Y-axis shows the number of mentions per 1000 voters. Contrary to common sense, big parties are sub-represented in the news, specially the ruling party, PSOE is the party which gets less news per vote. In the mention top Partido Nacionalista Vasco, Izquierda Unida and Bloque Nacionalista Galego stand out.
Politics and journals
How well parties are treated by journals? This graphics shows the number of references that each party gets in each digital journal.
Third graphic represents the % of coverage parties get in each media site. According to Google News, Partido Popular (right-wind party) gets the biggest amount of references, always above 30% and the biggest percentage is on El País (44%). The ruling party PSOE is always second, except in Catalonian journals, La Vanguardia and El Periódico, in which PSOE ranks third.
The fourth graphic shows the references of each party in media related to their number of voters in 2008 elections.
In this case, the total number of references per 100,000 votes are displayed. As you already saw in cities, the best party coverage comes from Abc journal. Data shows clearly that the biggest parties, PSOE and PP, are under-represented. Partido Nacionalista Vasco stands out, and has the highest amount of reference per voter in the main media sites (Spain). Data also shows that Abc pays special attention to Bloque Nacionalista Galego and Nafarroa Bai.
Parties and social media
How popular are political parties in blogs and social networks? Let's see. Warning: I'm not confident of Google's crawling of socials networking sites. They are still introducing "real time searches" and can be still can be considered as experimental feature. Second, because Google can only crawl public content, and there is a huge amounts of dark matter in Facebook (private content).
Fifth graphic shows the number of references of political parties in social media. For blogs, Google Blogsearch (filtered by language, "spanish") and Bitacoras.com were used. For Facebook and Twitter, Google was used, by filtering results by domains (twitter.com and facebook.com).
Again, PP is the party with the highest amount of references in every site, and blogsearch shows an overwhelming landslide. It's always above 40%, but in the case of blogs, Partido Popular gets 65% of total references: the difference between it and PSOE, the ruling party, are 55 points.
Sixth graphic shows the quantity of references in social media related to their number of voters.
In this case, percentage is displayed. Partido Nacionalista Vasco, Nafarroa Bai and Izquierda Unida are extensively coveraged in social media related to their number of voters in 2008 elections. Major parties, PP and PSOE, are under-represented, except in blogs. In the later case, PP has 4 times more mentions than PSOE, similar to IU's numbers.
During 2008 elections, I published in my Spanish blog some numbers of the parties' channels on YouTube (Los usuarios de YouTube votan, segunda parte y tercera parte). But comparing the stats with the election results, it was clear that there is no direct correlation between the number of references and the actual votes. i.e. Parties can lead to heated debates. The same rule can be applied to the aforementioned graphics.
An interesting issue raised in a comment in the Spanish version of this post, was that ruling parties tend to be eclipsed by their government branch. So, at least in Spain, Google News shows a relative decrease of references in the past two elections which led to party switching, 1996 and 2008. So by contrast, opposition get better outcomes than ruling parties.
And contrary to popular belief, small parties are benefited both in digital and social media.
Finally, another warning: please take this data with skepticism. The methodology is quite simple and Google searchs could include artificial deviations. Raw data and graphics are available in this spreadsheet at Google Docs.
Please, leave your comments and opinions below, they will be welcomed.
This post is also available in Spanish: Los partidos políticos en los medios de comunicación y sociales.