Malcolm Turnbull’s conversational career on Twitter:

the case of the Australian Prime Minister and the NBN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Politicians’ use of Twitter during election periods has been extensively researched. There has been less scholarly focus on the way politicians’ use of Twitter changes depending on their political circumstances. This article reports on an analysis of Malcolm Turnbull’s Twitter account from October 2008 to July 2016 examining his ‘engagement’ in terms of ‘conversations’ with political journalists, specialist technology writers and other Twitter users. It found Turnbull ‘conversed’ with the general public more than elites and revealed heated
exchanges with specialist technology writers about the National Broadband Network (NBN) and more genial ‘banter’ with political journalists. It also showed a peak in ‘conversations’ when he was Shadow Minister for Communications and a sharp decline once he became Minister for Communications and then Prime Minister. This article points to the need for further long-duration research to better understand the impact of changing political contexts on politicians’ use of social media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-104
Number of pages17
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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