Logics of the Icelandic Hybrid Media System

Snapchat and media-use before the 2016 and 2017 Althing elections

Open access


The increased importance of social media platforms and network media logic merging with traditional media logic are a trademark of modern hybrid systems of political communication. This article looks at this development through the media-use by politicians before the 2016 and 2017 parliamentary elections in Iceland. Aggregate results from candidate surveys on the use and perceived importance of different media forms are used to examine the role of the new platform Snapchat in relation to other media, and to highlight the dynamics of the hybrid media system in Iceland. The results show that Snapchat is exploited more by younger politicians and those already using social media platforms. However, in spite of this duality between old and new media, users of traditional platforms still use new media and vice versa. This points to the existance of a delicate operational balance between different media logics, that could change as younger politicians move more centre stage.

Ahva, L., van Dalen, A., Hovden, J-F., Kolbeins, G-H., Löfgren Nilsson, M., Skovsgaard, M. & Väliverronen, J. (2017). A welfare state of mind? Journalism Studies, 18(5): 595-613.

Altheide, D. L. (2014). Media edge: Media logic and social reality. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

Altheide, D. L. & Snow, R. P. (1979). Media logic. Beverly Hills: Sage.

Ausserhofer, J. & Maireder, A. (2013). National politics on Twitter: Structures and topics of a networked public sphere. Information, Communication & Society, 16(3): 291-314.

Bene, M. (2017). Go viral on the Facebook! Interactions between candidates and followers on Facebook during the Hungarian general election campaign of 2014. Information, Communication & Society, 20(4): 513-529.

Bergsson, B. Þ. (2014). Facebook og flokkarnir: Rannsókn á notkun íslenskra stjónmálaflokka á samfélagsmiðlum [Facebook and the parties: A study of the use of Icelandic political parties of social media]. Icelandic Review of Politics and Administration, 10(2): 339-366.

Blach-Ørsten, M., Eberholst, M.K. & Burkal, R. (2017). From hybrid-media system to hybrid-media politicians: Danish politicians and their cross media presence in the 2015 national election campaign. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 14(4): 334-347. doi:

Blumler, J. G. & Kavanagh, D. (1999). The third age of political communication: Influences and features. Political Communication, 16(3): 209-230.

Chadwick, A. (2013). The hybrid media system. Politics and power. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chadwick, A. (2017). The hybrid media system. Politics and power (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Chadwick, A., Dennis, J. & Smith, A. P. (2016). Politics in the age of hybrid media. In A. Bruns, G. S. Enli, Skogerbø, A. O. Larsson & C. Christensen (eds.), The Routledge companion to social media and politics (pp. 7-22). New York: Routledge.

Davies, J. (2017, April 19). In France, Snapchat takes the lead in producing political content. DIGIDAY UK [online] Retrieved from https://digiday.com/media/france-snapchat-takes-lead-producing-politicalcontent/ [accessed 2018, May 24].

Enli, G. S. & Skogerbø, E. (2013). Personalized campaigns in party-centred politics: Twitter and Facebook as arenas for political communication. Information, Communication & Society, 16(5): 757-774.

Gibson, R. K., Lusoli, W. & Ward, S. (2008). Nationalizing and normalizing the local? A comparative analysis of online candidate campaigning in Australia and Britain. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 4(4): 15-30.

Gibson, R. K. & McAllister, I. (2015). Normalising or equalising party competition? Assessing the impact of the Web on election campaigning. Political Studies, 63(3): 529-547.

Guðmundsson, B. (2014). New realities of political communications in Iceland and Norway. Nodicum- Mediterraneum, 9(1). Retrieved from http://nome.unak.is/wordpress/09-1/c60article/new-realities-ofpolitical-communications-in-iceland-and-norway/ [accessed 2019, January 4].

Guðmundsson, B. (2016). New media: Opportunity for new and small parties? Political communication before the parliamentary elections in Iceland in 2013. Icelandic Review of Politics and Administration, 12(1): 47-66.

Hallin, D. C. & Mancini, P. (2004). Comparing media systems: Three models of media and politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hansen, K. M. & Kosiara-Pedersen, K. (2014). Cyber-campaigning in Denmark: Application and effects of candidate campaigning. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 11(2): 206-219.

Harðarsson, O.Th. (2008). Political communication in Iceland. In J. Strömbäck, M. Ørsten & T. Aalberg (eds.), Communicating politics: Political communication in the Nordic countries 1st ed. (pp. 63-82). Gothenburg: Nordicom.

Harðarson, Ó. Þ. (2016, November 5). Iceland 2016: Major changes - But not a revolution. Party systems and governments observatory [online]. Retrieved from http://whogoverns.eu/iceland-2016-major-changesbut-not-a-revolution/ [accessed 2017, December 15].

Harðarson, Ó. Þ. & Önnudottir, E. H. (2018). Election report Iceland. Scandinavian Political Studies, 41(2): 233-237. doi:

Heilpern, W. (2016, January 27). Bernie Sanders is using Snapchat to try to win over young voters. Business Insider, Politics [online]. Retrieved from http://uk.businessinsider.com/bernie-sanders-snapchat-campaign-2016-1?r=US&IR=T [accessed 2019, January 10].

Hjarvard, S. (2013). The mediatization of culture and society. London and New York: Routledge.

Jamieson, A. (2016). The first Snapchat election: How Bernie and Hillary are targeting the youth vote. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/05/snapchat-election-2016-sanders-clinton-youth-millennial-vote [accessed 2016, November 17].

Jensen, J. L., Hoff, J. & Klastrup, L. (2016). Internettet og folketingsvalget 2015 [The Internet and the Danish parliamentary elections 2015]. Report, Danske Medier, Copenhagen, Denmark. Retrieved from https://blogit.itu.dk/decidis/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/08/Internettet-i-FTvalget-2015-Hoff-Jensen-Klastrup.pdf [accessed 2018, February 14].

Jungherr, A. (2016). Twitter use in election campaigns: A systematic literature review. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 13(1): 72-91.

Karlsen, R. (2011). A platform for individualized campaigning? Social media and parliamentary candidates in the 2009 Norwegian election campaign. Policy & Internet, 3(4): 1-25.

Karlsen, R. & Enjolras, B. (2016). Styles of social media campaigning and influence in a hybrid political communication system: Linking candidate survey data with Twitter data. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 21(3): 338-357.

Klinger, U. & Svensson, J. (2014). The emergence of network media logic in political communication: A theoretical approach. New Media & Society, doi:

Klinger, U. & Svensson, J. (2018). The end of media logics? On algorithms and agency. New Media & Society, 20(12): 4653-4670.

Landerer, N. (2013). Rethinking the logics: A conceptual framework for the mediatization of politics. Communication Theory, 23(3): 239-258.

Larsson, A. O. (2017). Going viral? Comparing parties on social media during the 2014 Swedish election. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 23(2): 117-131.

Larsson, A.O. & Moe, H. (2014). Triumph of the underdogs? Comparing twitter use by political actors during two Norwegian election campaigns. Sage Open. doi:

Larsson, A. O. & Svensson, J. (2014). Politicians online - Identifying current research opportunities. First Monday, 19(4). Retrieved from http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4897/3874 [accessed 2019, January 4].

Lilleker, D. G., Koc-Michalska, K., Schweitzer, E. J., Jacunski, M., Jackson, N. & Vedel, T. (2011). Informing, engaging, mobilizing or interacting: Searching for a European model of Web campaigning. European Journal of Communication, 26(3): 195-213.

Moon, A. & Fares, M. (2015). Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sanders joins Snapchat. Reuters, United States. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-socialmedia-sandersidUSKCN0T52MM20151116 [accessed 2016, November 17].

Nahon, K. & Hemsley, J. (2013). Going viral. Cambridge: Cambridge Polity Press.

Post and Telecom Administration in Iceland (2016). Telecommunication markets in the Nordic and Baltic Countries 2016. Retrieved from https://www.pfs.is/library/Skrar/Tolfraedi/Norraen-tolfraedi/Telecommunication_markets_in_the_Nordic_and_Baltic_countries_2016.pdf [accessed 2017, August 15].

Schweitzer, E. J. (2008). Innovation or normalization in E-campaigning? A longitudinal content and structural analysis of German party websites in the 2002 and 2005 national elections. European Journal of Communication, 23(4), 310-327.

Schweitzer, E. J. (2011). Normalization 2.0: A longitudinal analysis of German online campaigns in national elections 2002-2009. European Journal of Communication, 26(4): 449-470.

Smolak, R. (2017). Changes in the mediatization of politics. Interview with Professor Jesper Strömbäck - University of Gothenburg. Central European Journal of Communication, 10(18): 130-136

Strömbäck, J. (2008). Four phases of mediatization: An analysis of the mediatization of politics. The International Journal of Press and Politics, 13(3): 228-246.

Strömbäck, J. & Esser, F. (2014). Mediatization of politics: Transforming democracies and reshaping politics. In K. Lundby (ed.), Mediatization of communication (pp. 375-403). Berlin: De Gruyter Mounton.

Nordicom Review

Journal from the Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (Nordicom)

Journal Information

CiteScore 2018: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.223
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.270


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 326 326 14
PDF Downloads 145 145 7