Communicating in Good Faith? Dynamics of the Christian Right Agenda

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Abstract

It is an article of faith that organized interests represent members to elected officials making use of synchronized communication channels. Rarely, have researchers had access to multiple, internal and external channels to test this notion. We mine a trove of nearly 2,500 emails the Family Research Council (FRC) sent to list subscribers from 2007 to 2018. Text tools allow us to depict message flexibility of the FRC and how internal (email) and external (press release) messages may be linked. Finally, we note the bills lobbied by FRC and the frequency these are mentioned in the internal email messages. Our findings show that different audiences are presented with considerably different political agendas in ways that appear to conform to the requisites of the different audiences. While FRC has significant, sophisticated message flexibility, our analysis indicates that such flexibility can raise serious concerns about good faith representation.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalPolitics and Religion
Early online date10 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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