In the hours that followed the shock of the exit poll, a narrative quickly emerged amongst political pundits to help explain the unexpected surge in support for the Labour Party: “It Was the Young Wot Won It”. Youth engagement has been a key factor throughout this election. From musicians JME and Stormzy spearheading the #grime4Corbyn campaign, to a massive voter registration drive that resulted in over one million applications from 18-24-year olds, young people have been consistently touted as potential difference-makers in the outcome of #GE2017.
This leads us to ask, what information sources did these young people draw on when deciding how to cast their vote? We analyse how this election was reported to younger audiences by two new-media organisations, BuzzFeed and VICE.
We argue that both publications are examples of digital disruption in election reporting. More than distributing content, BuzzFeed and VICE embrace the culture of social media. They draw on the ideas, language, and behaviours of the social web to connect with their audience. In doing so, they challenged the traditional values and norms of news making during this general election.
Dennis, J. and Sampaio-Dias, S. (2017). Not Just Swearing and Loathing on the Internet: Analysing BuzzFeed and VICE during #GE2017. In Thorsen, E. Jackson, D. and Lilleker, D. (Eds.), UK Election Analysis 2017: Media, Voters and the Campaign (pp. 66-67). Bournemouth: The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community, Bournemouth University.
Dennis, J. and Sampaio-Dias, S. (2017). Not Just Swearing and Loathing on the Internet: Analysing BuzzFeed and VICE during #GE2017. Paper presented at the Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group Annual Conference, Hull, November 16-17.
Dennis, J. (2017). Reflections on #GE2017: Digital News and Youth Engagement. Paper presented at the School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies Reflections on #GE2017 workshop, Portsmouth, October 5.