Mike S. Schäfer co-edits Special Section of International Journal of Communication on "Opinion Leadership Revisited”
The patterns of opinion leadership have changed along with the media landscape. Segmented processes of communication and influence do still exist, but take on different forms in the age of online and social media, mobile communication, and the shrinking audiences of many legacy media. Mike S. Schäfer has just edited, together with Monika Taddicken (University of Braunschweig) a special section of the International Journal of Communication which presents a fresh, empirical look at the kinds of opinion leadership that can be found in contemporary media environments. In addition, it asks to what extent conceptual extensions or adaptations of the original concept might be necessary. "Opinion Leadership Revisited: A Classical Concept in a Changing Media Environment" presents three empirical studies focusing on different facets of opinion leadership—on the opinion leaders themselves, on opinion leadership in parasocial relations, and on influence and selection processes in adolescent networks—as well as a special commentary by Elihu Katz. All papers of the special section are freely available, under open access licence by-nc-nd, at http://ijoc.org.