Pablo Lopez Rabadan, a professor at the Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain, is conducting an investigative project to analyze how presidential candidates are using Twitter during their campaigns. Rabadan will be working at Emerson College for the next month to assess how candidates are using the social media app to create media spectacles in their campaign, and how style as non-informative content plays a role in the election.
Pablo wants to analyze how non-informative or spectacle content that go beyond the political conversation, such as tweets relating to the candidates’ social lives, back and forth exchanges between candidates, multimedia and instant posts, affect the political campaigns and public debate. He hopes to find out how effective these non-informative, sensationalized tweets really are, and if they can distract from candidates’ in concrete policies and issues. Rabadan has already analyzed his native country’s political parties and their use of social media. He has found that in Spain, the newer parties seem to dominate social media and have a better grasp of it over the older, more traditional parties. Pablo believes that this is a very interesting time for a similar political analysis in the United States.
Pablo’s study goes beyond analyzing tweets. By living in Boston for a month, he will be able to get a better sense of the American experience and of Emerson College as an institution. He hopes to contact experts at Emerson College to help with his study and to establish a global exchange between the his universities and Emerson College. Pablo believes that United States is ahead of Spain when it comes to the political communications and the professionalization of social media.
While Pablo and I spoke in Spanish for the entirety of our time together, his personal goal is to become more fluent in English. Pablo said the most surprising thing about Boston was the great presence of Spanish-speaking people. He was shocked to find signs on the T that were in Spanish and directed to the Hispanic communities. His studies go beyond the classroom, as he hopes to bike around the city of Boston and see what it has to offer. Pablo believes that Boston is a magnificent city that is very urban and very historic and wants to take advantage of the “cultural hub.” He hopes to travel to other major cities in the United States, such as Washington D.C. and Philadelphia to get a better sense of our country and our people.
– Michelle Krigsfeld, BA Communication studies – Emerson College