Participation and topics of discussion of Spaniards in the digital public sphere.

  1. Campos Domínguez, Eva 1
  2. Calvo, Dafne 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Valladolid

    Universidad de Valladolid

    Valladolid, España


Comunicación y sociedad = Communication & Society

ISSN: 2386-7876

Year of publication: 2016

Issue Title: Challenges of Regional Television: structure, financing, content and audiences

Volume: 29

Issue: 4

Pages: 219-234

Type: Article

DOI: 10.15581/003.29.35816 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

More publications in: Comunicación y sociedad = Communication & Society


Cited by

  • Dialnet Métricas Cited by: 7 (25-02-2024)
  • Dimensions Cited by: 0 (23-02-2024)

SCImago Journal Rank

  • Year 2016
  • SJR Journal Impact: 0.435
  • Best Quartile: Q2
  • Area: Cultural Studies Quartile: - Rank in area: 98/1001
  • Area: Communication Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 116/438

Índice Dialnet de Revistas

  • Year 2016
  • Journal Impact: 0.820
  • Field: COMUNICACIÓN Quartile: C1 Rank in field: 5/65


  • Social Sciences: B

Scopus CiteScore

  • Year 2016
  • CiteScore of the Journal : 1.0
  • Area: Communication Percentile: 54


(Data updated as of 23-02-2024)
  • Total citations: 0
  • Recent citations (2 years): 0


Since the seventies, in Western democracies, communication technologies and current social networks have attracted academic debate on the ability of these devices to promote an extension of the public sphere. The recent launch of Twitter, as well as other social networks, has produced an extensive discussion about their ability to promote the different dynamics of public participation to the mediated public space. This study seeks to explore the discussion on topics involving Spaniards in the digital public sphere, looking specifically at the participation in Twitter and two digital newspapers: and Through an analysis of their quantitative and qualitative content, 633 comments published on both Spanish most read online newspapers, and on their social profiles on Twitter have been studied. On the second phase, 240 Trending Topics have been collected, and their correlation with the themes of the barometers of the Center for Sociological Research (CIS) has been analyzed. Our research suggests that Spaniards do not generally discuss about their political concerns on Twitter. The main themes listed in the CIS Barometer ‒immigration, education, social issues, the government and individual parties or politicians, etc.‒ correspond to the topics registered in the online newspapers debate, but not in the social network. In general terms, the discussion of the Spaniards on Twitter is focused on soft news and the argumentation of their opinions is rather limited.

Funding information

This study is part of the activities developed by Research Group NUTECOfrom the University of Valladolid. The authors want to express their gratefulness toSoundous Bouchouar,who helpedus with English revision.

Bibliographic References

  • Alcobendas, P. (1992). Los medios de comunicación en el Banco de Datos del CIS. Reis: Revista española de investigaciones sociológicas 57, 275-300.
  • Asociación para la Investigación de los Medios de Comunicación. (2013). 16ª Encuesta de AIMC a usuarios de Internet. Retrieved from
  • Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living Web. A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 149. Retrieved from:
  • Berrocal S., Campos Domínguez, E. & Redondo, M. (2012). Political Communication on the Net: The trend to political “infotainment” in YouTube. Estudios sobre el Mensaje Periodístico 18(2), 643-659.
  • Campbell, S.W. & Kwak, N. (2011). Political involvement in “mobilized” society: the interactive relationships among mobile communication, network characteristics, and political participation. Journal of Communication 61(6), 1005-1024.
  • Campos-Domínguez, E. & Silván, A. (2012). Democracia digital. El estado de la cuestión. In I. Ramos Vielba & E. Campos Domínguez (Eds.), Ciudadanía en 3D (pp. 53-84). Barcelona: Edhasa.
  • Castells, M. (2009). Comunicación y poder. Madrid: Alianza.
  • Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas. (2014). Three principal problems. Retrieved from:
  • Dahlberg, L. (2001). The Internet and democratic discourse: exploring the prospects of online deliberative forums extending the public sphere. Information, Communication & Society 4(4), 615-633.
  • Dahlberg, L. (2007). The Internet, deliberative democracy, and power: Radicalizing the public sphere. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics 3(1), 47-64.
  • Davis, R. (1999). Communications technology and democracy. In R. Davis, The web of politics: the Internet's impact on the American political system (pp. 9-40). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Eveland, W.P, Morey, A.C. & Hutchens, M.J. (2011). Beyond deliberation: new directions for the study of informal political conversation from a communication perspective. Journal of Communication 61(6), 1082-1103.
  • Freelon, D.G. (2010). Analyzing online political discussion using three models of democratic communication. New Media & Society 12(7), 1172-1190.
  • Fuchs, C. (2013). Twitter and democracy: a new public sphere? In C. Fuchs, Social Media: A Critical Introduction (pp. 179-209). Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • Fuster, M. (2012a). The free culture and 15M movements in Spain: Composition, social networks and synergies. Social Movement Studies 11(3-4), 386-392.
  • Fuster, M. (2012b). El surgimiento del concepto de participación en entornos en línea: lecciones y retos para las experiencias de democracia digital. In I. Ramos Vielba & E. Campos Domínguez (Eds.), Ciudadanía en 3D (pp. 53-84). Barcelona: Edhasa.
  • Gladwell, M. (2010, October 4). Small change: why the revolution will not be tweeted. Retrieved from:
  • Goodin, R.E., & Niemeyer, S.J. (2003). When does deliberation begin? Internal reflection versus public discussion in deliberative democracy. Political Studies 51(4), 627-649.
  • Habermas, J. (1962). Historia y crítica de la opinión pública. Barcelona: Gili.
  • Hallin, D.C. & Mancini, P. (2004) Comparing Media Systems. Three Models of Media and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hanitzsch, T. (2007). Deconstructing Journalism Culture: Towards a Universal Theory. Communication Theory 17(4), 367– 385.
  • Hanitzsch, T., Hanusch, F. & Lauerer, C. (2016). Setting the Agenda, Influencing Public Opinion, and Advocating for Social Change. Journalism Studies 17(1), 1-20.
  • Hartz-Karp, J., Balnaves, M., & Sullivan, B. (2012). Del monólogo y la agregación al diálogo y la deliberación: enfoques híbridos innovadores sobre la deliberación y la gobernanza colaborativa. In I. Ramos Vielba & E. Campos Domínguez, Ciudadanía en 3D (pp. 205258), Barcelona: Edhasa.
  • Held, D. (1991). Modelos de democracia. Madrid: Alianza.
  • Kim, Y., Hsu, S. & De Zuñiga, H. G. (2013). Influence of social media use on discussion network heterogeneity and civic engagement: the moderating role of personality traits. Journal of Communication 63(3), 498-516.
  • Lara, T. (2008). La nueva esfera pública: los medios de comunicación como redes sociales. Telos: Cuadernos de comunicación e innovación 76, 128-131.
  • Lévy, P. (2004). Ciberdemocracia. Barcelona: UOC.
  • Mansbridge, J. (1999). Everyday talk in the deliberative system. In S. Macedo, Deliberative Politics: Essays on Democracy and Disagreement. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Mazzoleni, G. (2001). La revolución simbólica de Internet. Technological Innovation and Political Communication, Perugia.
  • McCombs, M.E. y Shaw, D.L. (1972): The agenda-setting function of mass media. Public Opinion Quarterly 36(2), 176-187.
  • Norris, P. (2012). Prólogo. In I. Ramos Vielba & E. Campos Domínguez (Eds.), Ciudadanía en 3D (pp. 11-16). Barcelona: Edhasa.
  • O'Reilly, T. (2005). What is web 2.0 . O'Reilly media. Retrieved from:
  • Papacharissi, Z. (2002). The virtual sphere the Internet as a public sphere. New Media & Society 4(1), 9-27.
  • Piscitelli, A. (2005): Internet, la imprenta del siglo XXI. Barcelona: Gedisa.
  • Rheingold, H. (2000). The virtual community: homesteading on the electronic frontier. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Sampedro, V. & Lobera, J. (2014). The Spanish 15-M Movement: a consensual dissent? Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 15(1-2) 61-80.
  • Sánchez-Gonzalez, M., & Alonzo, J. (2012). Propuesta metodológica para el análisis de las tecnologías de participación en cibermedios. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social 67, 7-31.
  • Sartori, G. (1998). Homo videns. Madrid: Taurus.
  • Shirky, C. (2011). Political Power of Social Media-Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change, The Foreign Affairs 90, 28-40.
  • Sterrett (2012). El potencial y las limitaciones de Internet para fomentar la deliberación y la democracia en El Mundo. In I. Ramos Vielba & E. Campos Domínguez (Eds.), Ciudadanía en 3D (pp. 139-204). Barcelona: Edhasa.
  • Sunstein, C. (2009). Going to extremes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Sunstein, C. (2010). Rumorologi ́a. Barcelona: Debate.
  • Tucker, A. (2008). Pre-emptive Democracy: Oligarchic Tendencies in Deliberative Democracy. Political studies 56(1), 127-147.
  • Vicente-Mariño, M. (2013). El poder de la ciudadanía en la sociedad red: renegociando espacios e influencia. Comunicación y Poder, Valladolid.
  • Waisbord, S. (2012). Repensar la agenda de investigación sobre periodismo y política en la academia globalizada. In S. Berrocal Gonzalo & E. Campos-Domínguez (Eds.), La investigación en periodismo político en el entorno de los nuevos medios (pp. 13-33). Madrid: Sociedad Española Periodística.
  • Wojcieszak, M. (2011). Deliberation and attitude polarization. Journal of Communication 61(4), 596-617.