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European group leadership online (1)


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Looking at online media and European Parliament Group Leadership

Looking at online media and European Parliament Group Leadership

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  • 2. Parliament leadership Connectedness to Online media: How do the three main EU political party leaders fair?The European Union has not been progressive in communications. It’s timid and “silo-ed” approach withconstituents has undermined sound communication techniques and principles. While the EU is very good attechnical policies, the institution’s communication failures have led to a democratic deficit within civil society. Thishas shown up in voting rates and polls. Generally speaking politics is about identity and empathy, not so much thebest policy. The Reagan and Thatcher campaigns proved it. Time and time again, I see European ParliamentPolitical Parties and leadership fail to understand this. For the last two years – as a US citizen, I worked at theCommission and Parliament. In the Parliament I Advised the EPP Group Presidents cabinet on strategicCommunications. At the European Commission I was a policy and communications officer. While there is plenty ofblame to go around, I have noted a push (internally) for development of better communications. None the lessinstitution personnel, who have no desire to adapt to modern methods, are the constraints of any meaningfulchange.With the rise in online communication this paper will show how the main political party leaders fair in the onlinemedia environment. I will look at the top three main political parties: The European People’s Party (EPP), Socialistand Democrats (S&D) and the Alliance of Liberal Democrats (ALDE).The leaders are:  Joseph Daul (JD) – EPP Group, 272 seats in the EP  Guy Verhofstadt (GV) – ALDE Group, 85 seats in the EP  Martin Schulz (MS) – S&D Group, 190 seats in the EP st thThis paper will look at online media from October 1 2011– December 18 2011 to find: 1. Who has the most overall online market share 2. What Leader has the most correlation with the institutions, political parties and the Euro Crisis 3. What region each medium trends the most 4. Engagement of regions and mediumsTo get these results I have to break down the locations of online mediums:  Micro media – Twitter  Mainstream Online Media  Blogs 1To get the results, I am using data software that does sentiment analysis and online media monitoring (OMM).With the wealth of information that exists online, and the tools ability to analysis text through Natural Language 2Processing algorithms, it’s possible to get very accurate insights into how people interact with, and think aboutthe EU. Furthermore, this can be done for much cheaper than Focus Groups and polling, which have a biasinherently. Online, people’s actions are often less inhibited. Somewhere, with a medium people are leaving tracesof themselves which in turn can provide data scientist information to break down. Current linguistic researchshows that different cultures and upbringings have different patterns in what “frame” they use to see and explainthe world (Lakoff, 2008). By looking at language online, it’s possible to deconstruct cognitive bias and developtaxonomies around online actions and demographics.1 Sentiment analysis or opinion mining refers to the application of natural language processing, computational linguistics, and text analytics toidentify and extract subjective information in source materials.2 Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of computer science and linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers andhuman (natural) languages; it began as a branch of artificial intelligence.[1] In theory, natural language processing is a very attractive methodof human–computer interaction. Natural language understanding is sometimes referred to as an AI-complete problem because it seems torequire extensive knowledge about the outside world and the ability to manipulate it. Modern NLP algorithms are grounded in machinelearning, especially statistical machine learning. Research into modern statistical NLP algorithms requires an understanding of a number ofdisparate fields, including linguistics, computer science, and statistics. For a discussion of the types of algorithms currently used in NLP, see thearticle on pattern recognition. Page 2 of 11
  • 3. So why is looking at online media important? The chart above (Lau, 2001) shows online media has expanded inthe last 16 years. Online news has displaced print and broadcast to represent 46 percent of all content monitoredglobally. Increasingly online communications/media is becoming the main source of people’s knowledge forpolitical affairs. In the era of the mediatization in politics and democratic theory, which assumes that an informedand attentive public is necessary for democracy to work effectively (Lau, 2001), understanding onlinecommunications is vital. 3 The Analysis of online media is a cross between what’s called data science and “Culturomics” (Leetaru,September 2011). The goal is to find cultural trends through the computerized analysis of online media to developinsights in the functioning of human society, thoughts and actions (Michel, et al., 2011). This process has been veryaccurate in forecasting instances such as box office sales (Mishne and Glance, 2006) to the stock market (Bollen, etal., 2011). To illustrate the power of data science and sentiment analysis in a political context scientist – using asuper computer, applied tone and geographic analysis to a 30–year worldwide news archive. The scientist wereable to forecast the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, the removal of Egyptian President Mubarak, thestability of Saudi Arabia, and estimated Osama Bin Laden’s hiding place within a 200–kilometer radius in NorthernPakistan. The point being is that media hasbeen a very accurate source of insightsabout the human condition and thought.Now with the rapid expansion of onlinemedia, there is a wealth of untapped syntaxto further analyze.The chart above shows the volume ofterms “European Parliament”, “EuropeanCommission” and “European Union”. The terms were translatedinto French, German and Italian for accuracy. The data was 4gathered with Google Insights for Search. The chart does not trackpositive or negative sentiment, just the volume of the terms 5searched through Google . The data clearly shows the interest inthe EU has gone down since 2004. For both the European Parliament and Commission the top term locations wereIxelles, Luxembourg and Brussels – all home to the institutions. This illustrates the “Brussels Bubble” many talkabout.3 The profession of interpreting and creating value from Data.4 With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames andproperties. See examples of how you can use Google Insights for Search.5 Google’s search market share in Europe is around 90%. In the U.S. it’s around 65%. Page 3 of 11
  • 4. With the current financial “Euro” crisis it would be easy to assume that the interest in the EU - whether good orbad, would go up - which has not happened. The Google insights data mirrors voting participation, which has gonedown (above). Main variables are the lack of a unified media, hesitation on real-time engagement, failure toleverage modern instruments and incentive to engage. MEPs and political parties do not have to raise money forre-election. There is little reason for MEPs on an individual level to actively engage constituents since EuropeanParties put forth the Politicians. This infrastructure has lead to autonomy. Now EU citizens look towards nationalpolitics for answers.European Parliament.The EPP Controls 36% of the Market Share of seats in the EP,Followed by the S&D (25%) and ADLE (11%) of the market share ofeach political Group in the European Parliament (EP) is not incontrast to each other. Those market shares break down to  EPP - 49%  S&D - 34%  ALDE - 15% It’s important to understand that market share (MS) is a KeyPerformance Indicator (KPI). Political Groups are given the sameamount of money to spend based on the number of seats they hold.It gives us a standard for over and under performance. In a vacuumsentiment and retention should be the same for each party. Marketshare online should be replicated. Page 4 of 11
  • 5. st thThe Charts above show the amount of articles each leader generates between 1 2011 – Dec 18 2011. We clearlysee MS is in the lead followed by GV and JD. During this time there has been a total of 4790 articles which arebroken down to:  1597 Avg Monthly Articles  462 Avg Weakly Articles  61 Avg Daily ArticlesThe amplitude for each leader (peaks and valleys) illustrates (especially on the top chart) key offline politicalevents. The number of articles generated where done so within the context of JD, GV and MS, and a EU Boolean 6search profile . The top chart is not within the context of each Party President (PP). This means that while most6 JD/MS/GV and ("Europa" OR "EU" OR "Euro" OR "UE" OR "Brussels" OR "Strasbourg" OR "MEP" OR "Brüssel" OR "Europees Parlement" OR"European Parliament" OR "Parlement européen" OR "Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο" OR "Europäischen Parlaments" OR "Parlamento europeo" OR"Parlamento Europeo" OR "Európskeho parlamentu" OR "Parlament Europejski" OR "Eiropas Parlaments" OR "Parlement" OR "Parliament" OR"Parlement" OR "Κοινοβούλιο" OR "Parlaments" OR "Parlamento" OR "Parlamento" OR "parlamentu" OR "Parlament" OR "Parlaments" OR"EU" OR "UE" OR "European Union" OR "Europese Unie" OR "Union européenne" OR "Europäischen Union" OR "Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση" OR"Unione europea" OR "Unia Europejska" OR "Unión Europea" OR "Comissão Europeia" OR "Comisión Europea" OR "Komisja Europejska" OR"Comissão Europeia" OR "Commission européenne" OR "Commissione europea" OR "Europäische Kommission" OR "European Commission" OR Page 5 of 11
  • 6. times the peaks go up in correlation. They are not inclusive of one another. The bottom chart’s rises and falls are incorrelation to market share of each leader. Since the groups are competing I value the chart as a good KPI. Thesoftware has the ability to dive in to the peaks and see what the post themes are. The charts show GV had a raisein articles generated in October. For GV the peaks had to do with the bail out of the Belgian Bank Dexia. MS’s 7profile was raised during Jose Barroso’s State of the Union Address. Since the S&D are the EPP’s (which partyBarroso belongs to) main competitor, the media wanted the “other side” of the story. In mid December JD’s profileraised during the EPP Group’s Marseilles conference where JD was re-elected to serve as the Groups president.Prior Daul remains quite throughout. Typically all peaks are correlated to all of the leaders given that they are allmajor players in EU politics.European Parliament (EP) Leadership: Subject Correlation and Media Market Share (MS):The chart above shows correlation market share of the leaders on different subjects, including their own party. It’spossible that all leaders can be in one article so the totals can be over 100%. The Green line illustrates what rank steach subject is in correlation to the leaders conglomerated. The EU ranks 1 followed by the Parliament – whichshould be expected, and then the Euro. JD has the most at 81%.This is a good indicator for further party brandingbut not for pan EU leadership.On the far right, the chart shows the average and over/under performance to the market share of Parliamentseats. GV (ALDE) is at +7, MS (S&D) is + 20 over perform and JD (EPP) is at -20. This does not fare well for the EPPGroup. When looking at the market shares of EP leaders in context to one another, JD is consistently in last place.So why does the EPP vastly underperform while the S&D and ALDE over perform? This can be due to a number ofreasons.  JD does not speak English  The EPP being the largest group cannot utilize polarizing and thus mobilizing language without alienating many of their MEP’s.  8 JD has chosen to stay out of the spotlight given that Jose Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy are EPP.  MS is from Germany which is heavily discussed at the moment, and will also become the new President of 9 the European Parliament replacing Jerzey Buzek ."Europese Commissie" OR "Comissão" OR "OR" OR "Comisión" OR "Komisja" OR "Comissão" OR "Commission" OR "Kommission" OR"Commission" OR "Commissie")7 President of the European Commission, since 23 November 20048 President of the European Council under the Treaty of Lisbon.[5] He was appointed to chair the institution for the period starting from 1December 2009 until 31 May 2012,[6][7] though he only took up his position officially on 1 January 2010.[8] Page 6 of 11
  • 7. Robert Fitzhenery (Head of EPP Group Press and who controls the communications and outreach budget) explained to me that the EPP group cannot be too polarizing on political issues because of the EPP’s size, and cannot risk alienating some MEPs. On the other end EPP spokesperson and chief of cabinet Antoine Ripoll wants to be more polarizing and media smart. During my work with the EPP, ALDE and GV was typically 10 leading despite only having an 11% (88 of 754 MEP seats) market share of the EP . I talked with Neil Corlett, Head of Press and Communication for ALDE. Neil explained since ALDE was a smaller group they decided to follow whatever GV wanted and not deviate from a few main points. In short their message is consistent via both GV and ALDE’s MEPs. It paid off. ALDE is outperforming the EPP and S&D. And both have more money. It’s only in the last two months that MS has been generating so much sentiment. It will be interesting to see if this approach pays off in the 2014 EP elections, and will be a good indicator of how mature the online EU landscape is.Breaking down Market Shares: Medium and Leadership:While many public affairs/communication professionals talk in trendy ways about social media, Twitter and Blogs,it’s naïve to think these are the main channels for engagement. Online mainstream news simply dominates in 11comparison. It sets the tone of the issue, gets the most comments, and is shared the most (“Likes/Votes” ), whichto an extent show engagement. Diving back into market shares and what leader controls each medium. The chartabove is a good indicator of just how dominate Schulz is, present day. MS has been controls just about everymedium, and other variables such as comments. Starting from the right we see Mainstream News percentages andhow it’s divided up:MS (63%),GV (25%) and JD(12%) 12On the second box from the left “MS ind MS” shows what the market share of the medium – in this casemainstream, is being use by the Party Leader. In short mainstream news makes up 61% of Martin Schulz’s onlinemedia comparatively it make up 44% of GV and 35% of JD’s. In all cases Main Stream online news provides themost media and comments for all leaders. Over the past six months I’ve seen a rise in twitter which is by far the ndmost dispersed and equal platform and also JD’s 2 highest individual medium.9 Elected as President of the European Parliament on 14 July 2009, succeeding Hans-Gert Pöttering.[1]10 I would have liked to show these results but there is no way to get the back data.11 Think Google +1 and Face book like and URL sharing.12 “Ind” stands for individual and divides each mediums in to a zero sum game. Page 7 of 11
  • 8. We can conclude two things from the prior chart:  MS is winning the online battle for media and engagement. He owns 94% of comments leaving only 4% to GV and 3% to JD.  JD severely underperforms given the EPP’s size and amount of money they have.  By far the most popular medium is Mainstream news.Where is the media coming from?The last chart showed market share but at the end ofthe day Politics is about empathy and identity. To knowhow you are perceived and what media platformpeople use, and in a given region, is a huge strategicadvantage. The pie chart shows where the generalmedia about the leaders are coming from. The top spotgoes to the USA (29.5%). This a regular trend for themajority of platforms and illistraits the USA’s mediadominance, followed by Germany (26.6), and France(9.2%).From the individual leader perspective (bottom piechart), Market shares for the majority of media aredivided between Germany, The USA and France.  MS, Germany and France,  GV’s, US and Belgium  JD , USA and France Page 8 of 11
  • 9. Regions People Engage:Defining engagement: A blog or Twitter post, “like/vote” or comment on an article is a good place to start. Mediaoutput only shows where online media is coming from. While it’s important for figuring out what journalist tocontact, it’s not constituent engagement; journalist are paid to write. The charts on this page show the location ofComments, blogs and twitter (Micro media) followed by word clouds. The word clouds represent trending wordsfor each variable below (Comment Count, Microblogs, Blogs) . This gives us a good indication of what is onpeople’s mind within the region.Comment Count: I find this facet extremely interesting. Pastresearch about media indicates the same thing. The French love totalk and post comments. Germans remain silent. The data on theright pie chart shows where comments of online media are comingfrom. It’s amazing that even for a German politician like MartinSchulz the French still account for 93.7 % of the comments toGermany’s .5%. The European Institution and German constituentrelationship seems to be a complex one. From the word clouds ofthe comments, the Euro is the biggest topic outside of MartinSchulz, not a surprise.Micro Blogs (Twitter): Microblogs place third overall behind Mainstream News and Blog for the most mediaoutput. Twitter seems to be equal part comment, social network, blog post and news platform. This is a uniquestanding and perhaps one of the reasons why Twitter growth has been enormous in the last year. The real-timemedium shows relevance and trends very accurately, and has the most equal medium market share between theEP party leaders. In addition to comments, the French are the most active outside of the USA. Further JosephDaul, who is French, gets a boost in market share on the platform. Page 9 of 11
  • 10. Blogs: The top region for EP leadership being mentioned in blogs is the USA followed by the Germany. The Frenchtake a back seat. I talked with Ben Oppermann, a German EPP Group international relations expert. Ben explainedthat the German Green party’s recent success in elections could partially be attributed to their ability to tap intothe German blog network.Likes and Votes:(Right chart) While the German’s leave the commenting tothe French, in addition to Blogging they do tend to “like andvote”. Unlike in other mediums the USA doesn’t really showup, and for the first time Italy controls a significant marketshare. I was not able to break down word clouds for “Likesand Votes”.ConclusionThis paper has shown the deficits, mediums and marketshare within the context of EP Party leaders and onlinemedia. There are still plenty of ways to interpret the dataand charts presented.Points to Take Away:  Martin Schulz controls the majority of all medium market shares. It’s safe to conclude Schulz received the boost from Germany being central to the Euro Crisis (66% correlation. First among EP Party Leaders), and his accession to European Parliament President.  The US controls most of the Media output.  Joseph Daul and the EPP are underperforming and need to address their deficits.Final Thoughts:As the Semantic Web, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing become more evolved; there will be agreater wealth of knowledge that can be applied to Political and Governmental issues. It’s my opinion thatgovernments should utilize these tools to govern actively, and or form an “active democracy” that is more in linewith what constituents want. Listening is the first step. Page 10 of 11
  • 11. BibliographyLakoff, G. (2008, June 20). ForaTV. Retrieved September 5th, 2011, from ForaTV:, R. R. (2001). Advantages and Disadvantages of Cognitive Heuristics . American Journal of Political Science 45 , 951-971.Leetaru, K. (September 2011). culturenomics 2.0:Forecasting large-scale human behavior using global news media tone and space. FirstMonday, , Volume 16, Number 9 - 5 .Sustainable building technology knowledge representation: Using Semantic Web techniques.Detail Only AvailableBy: Tah, Joseph H.M.;Abanda, Henry F.. Advanced Engineering Informatics, Aug2011, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p547-558, 12p; DOI: 10.1016/j.aei.2011.02.006Who Said What? The Effects of Source Cues in Issue Frames.Full Text AvailableBy: Hartman, Todd; Weber, Christopher. Political Behavior,Dec2009, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p537-558, 22p, 4 Charts, 2 Graphs; DOI: 10.1007/s11109-009-9088-yDoes framing work? An empirical study of Simplifying Models for sustainable food production.Detail Only AvailableBy: Jaspaert, Koen; Van deVelde, Freek; Brône, Geert; Feyaerts, Kurt; Geeraerts, Dirk. Cognitive Linguistics, 2011, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p459-490, 32p, 5 Diagrams, 22 Charts;DOI: 10.1515/COGL.2011.018The impact of metaphorical framing on term creation in biology.Detail Only AvailableBy: Volanschi, Alexandra; Kübler, Natalie. Terminology,2011, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p198-223, 26p, 1 ChartPower to the frame: Bringing sociology back to frame analysis.Detail Only AvailableBy: Vliegenthart, Rens; van Zoonen, Liesbet. EuropeanJournal of Communication, Jun2011, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p101-115, 15p; DOI: 10.1177/0267323111404838Identity, non-identity, and near-identity: Addressing the complexity of coreference.Detail Only AvailableBy: Recasens, Marta; Hovy, Eduard;Martí, M. Antònia. Lingua, May2011, Vol. 121 Issue 5, p1138-1152, 15p; DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2011.02.004Fitting Ranked Linguistic Data with Two-Parameter Functions.Full Text AvailableBy: Wentian Li; Miramontes, Pedro; Cocho, Germinal. Entropy,2010, Vol. 12 Issue 7, p1743-1764, 22p, 4 Charts, 5 Graphs; DOI: 10.3390/e12071743Semantic Web Technologies for supporting learning assessment.Detail Only AvailableBy: Castellanos-Nieves, Dagoberto; Fernández-Breis,Jesualdo Tomás; Valencia-García, Rafael; Martínez-Béjar, Rodrigo; Iniesta-Moreno, Miguela. Information Sciences, May2011, Vol. 181 Issue 9,p1517-1537, 21p; DOI: 10.1016/j.ins.2011.01.010Works CitedLakoff, G. (2008, June 20). ForaTV. Retrieved September 5th, 2011, from ForaTV:, R. R. (2001). Advantages and Disadvantages of Cognitive Heuristics . American Journal of Political Science 45 , 951-971.Leetaru, K. (September 2011). culturenomics 2.0:Forecasting large-scale human behavior using global news media tone and space. FirstMonday, , Volume 16, Number 9 - 5 . Page 11 of 11