Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Editorial | Open Access

New Frontiers for Political Communication in Times of Spectacularization

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Abstract:  Political spectacularization is a broad global phenomenon challenging contemporary digital political communication under new features that define interactive digital narratives. In this sense, the use of politainment formulas in digital contexts to reconnect the electorate with political leaders and institutions through a more direct and interactive communication deserves further understanding of its implications on the devaluation of political information and the loss of democratic quality. This thematic issue sheds some light on how the spectacularization of political communication, which increasingly takes place in online contexts, affects and is affected by these processes, where entertainment is crucial to engage citizens. In this editorial, we provide a short overview of how research on politainment has started to shift its attention away from traditional media toward the wide array of lenses of politainment among digital platforms. The articles in this thematic issue reflect this shift but also show its consequences in terms of political engagement. Finally, we outline further research steps, which should establish a more nuanced and multifaceted understanding of the complex relationship between political communication, entertainment, and new digital communication formulas, which is crucial to advance knowledge in the field.

Keywords:  digital narratives; digital persuasion; disintermediation; gamification; ideological polarization; online campaigns; politainment; political communication; political engagement; social media



© Salvador Gómez-García, Rocío Zamora, Salomé Berrocal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.