Interview with Radio New Zealand on the New Zealand Social Media Study (NZSMS)

This week I spoke with „Morning Report“ on RNZ about the New Zealand Social Media Study (NZSMS) that I am conducting together with my colleague Professor Jack Vowles. We spoke about how we collect the data and in particular how we measure the use of fake news in the Facebook campaigns of the parties and the top candidates in the upcoming general election here in New Zealand, and also what we expect to find regarding the social media use of the New Zealand parties and candidates compared to other countries such as the US.

Listen to the full interview here

New Zealand Social Media Study (NZSMS) – New blog on social media in the upcoming NZ election

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington researchers are conducting the New Zealand leg of an international project to analyse how political actors use social media to target, inform, interact with, mobilise and pursue voters in elections.

Focusing on the final four weeks of the 2020 New Zealand general election campaign, Dr Mona Krewel and Professor Jack Vowles from the University’s Political Science and International Relations programme will be making their New Zealand Social Media Study findings and accompanying commentary available for free republication under Creative Commons.

Dr Krewel, Professor Vowles and the team they lead will publish weekly findings from their content analysis of the most salient campaign topics, the dominant political actors in the parties’ campaigns and their campaigning strategies on social media.

The data will expand each week, with one week’s worth published the first week, two weeks’ worth the second, and so on, becoming more statistically substantial as the project proceeds.

“The New Zealand Social Media Study allows us to make evidence-based contributions to debates about the quality of democratic discourse in the general election,” says Dr Krewel.

“The impact of digitisation on campaigns around the world is still growing; orchestrated operations by social media bots and fake news are increasing. Meanwhile, many citizens live in closed social media filter bubbles and echo chambers, with massive implications for democratic discourse. This has led many scholars to proclaim we live in an age of post-truth campaigning.

“This project was initiated during the 2019 European Parliamentary election, when political scientists from 12 countries analysed the internet and social media campaigns of mainstream and niche parties to detect general patterns and trends across countries, while also identifying national idiosyncrasies.

“The original team is now looking to increase their country sample and continue the project globally under the title Digital Election Campaigning Worldwide (DigiWorld). They approached us to join and we didn’t hesitate to say yes, recognising the importance of this research.”

Shaped by the experience of COVID-19, New Zealand’s 2020 general election will be like no other before it, says Professor Vowles.

“We have already seen examples of ‘fake news’, sometimes even communicated by politicians and the mainstream media. Monitoring the parties’ social media communications, we hope to confirm that, for the most part, they will campaign responsibly.”

Voting for the general election opens on Saturday 3 October and closes on Saturday 17 October.

The New Zealand Social Media Study findings and commentary will be available at on:

Friday 2 October (data from 17–23 September covering one week)
Friday 9 October (data from 17–30 September covering two weeks)
Friday 16 October (data from 17 September–7 October covering three weeks)
Monday 26 October (data from 17 September–17 October covering four weeks)

Please note, the page will not be live before 2 October.

For interview requests please

Contact the Communications Team


See full media release here

Is there a ‘feminine’ response to terrorism?

Check out Sabrina Karim’s and my new piece on gender-specific leadership in reaction to terrorist attacks. “The Conversation” features some early findings from an ongoing research project of ours, comparing feminine vs. masculine responses to terror, including results from a text analysis of post-attack statements. Is Jacinda Ardern’s reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings different from that of male presidents and prime ministers to similar mass shootings?

Read the full article here

Is Trump driving Putin and Merkel together?

In an interview with *Background Briefing with Ian Masters* on KPFK-FM 90.7, Los Angeles, on Monday, Sept 12, I comment on Angela Merkel’s phone call to Putin regarding the conflict about North Korea’s nuclear armament, Merkel’s offer to become involved in a diplomatic initiative to end the North Korean nuclear and missiles program, the German Russian relations in general, and the Russia’s possible interference into the upcoming German elections.

Hear the full the interview here 

YouTube video about media effects

I recently spoke with Thorsten Faas about media effects during campaigns for the YouTube channel „Was mit Wahlen“. We explain three media effects theories in this little clip: agenda setting, framing and priming. You can watch the video (and many more interesting clips on elections) here:

Warning: it is in German 😉

New office: 201 White Hall

Please note, that I have recently moved to a new office. I am now at 201 White Hall and not at 216 White Hall anymore. Office hours (still Tuesday 3-5:00 PM) will now also take place at my new office. And please do not forget to email me in advance and let me know that you are planning to come, as otherwise I might not be there. Thank you!

Relief in Germany Following the French Election

In an interview with *Background Briefing with Ian Masters* on KPFK-FM 90.7, Los Angeles, on Sunday, May 07, I comment on the influence of the hacking attack on the French presidential election, the reactions in Germany following the victory of Emmanuel Macron and the upcoming Bundestag elections in Germany, in particular the possibility of Russian interferences in the campaign for the German General Election.

Hear the full interview here

New book „Modernisierung deutscher Wahlkämpfe?“ out now

Recently my book „Modernisierung deutscher Wahlkämpfe? Kampagnenkommunikation zwischen 1957 und 1965“ has been published:

Krewel, Mona (2017): Modernisierung deutscher Wahlkämpfe? Kampagnenkommunikation zwischen 1957 und 1965? [Modernization of German Election Campaigns? Campaign Communication between 1957 and 1965]. Baden-Baden: Nomos.


The central aim of the book consists in the description and explanation of the developments within the campaigns of the CDU and the SPD for the German federal elections of 1957, 1961 and 1965. Thereby particular attention is paid to potential differences in terms of timing with regard to the development of campaigning between the CDU and the SPD. Moreover, the book thematizes the underlying causes of these differences. Beyond that, the book gives an answer to the question, whether the encountered developments in campaigning can be considered as a modernization of campaigning and if the election campaigns between the end of the 50s and the Mid-60s therefore can be characterized as the beginning of the age of modern campaigning.

The publication can be ordered on the website of Nomos