Works in Progress

Kreiss, D. and J.S. Brennen. Normative Theories of Digital Journalism. Paper presented at the 2015 International Communication Association Annual Conference. Forthcoming in C.W. Anderson, D. Domingo, A. Hermida, and T. Witschge (Eds.), Sage Handbook of Digital Journalism Studies. New York: Sage.

Daniel Kreiss and Christopher Jasinski. “The Sources of Innovation in Political Communication: A Comparative Analysis of the Careers of Digital, Data, and Analytics Staffers on Republican and Democratic Presidential Campaigns and Partisan Firm Founding, 2004-2012.” Paper to be presented at the Political Communication Pre-conference at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, September 2, 2015. Comments welcome.

Excel dataset of 628 digital, data, and analytics staffers on presidential bids from 2004-2012, their professional work, and firm founding.  This is a work in progress – any errors, information that is missing, etc., please let us know.


This mixed-methods study offers the first systematic analysis of the employment biographies of staffers working in digital, data, and analytics on American presidential campaigns, and the rates of firm founding by these staffers, from the 2004 through the 2012 electoral cycles. Using Federal Election Commission and LinkedIn data, we traced the professional biographies of every (n=626) staffer working in digital, data, or analytics on primary and general election presidential campaigns during this period that we could identify. We found uneven professionalization in these areas on political campaigns, defined in terms of staffers moving from campaign to campaign, with some core staffers moving between campaigns but high rates of new entrants to the field. Drawing on theories in organizational sociology that argue that transpositions of people, skills, and knowledge across domains give rise to innovations and firm founding that institutionalizes them, we analyzed differences between the two parties. Democrats had considerably greater numbers of staffers in these areas and from the technology industry, and much higher rates of firm founding. We present qualitative interview data (n=62) to provide examples of technological innovation on presidential campaigns, explain these aggregate differences between the two parties in digital, data, and analytics, and suggest why they are consequential from an electoral perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s