Ernesto de León

Ernesto de León

PhD Candidate

University of Bern


Hello! I’m a PhD candidate in political communication at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Bern, in Switzerland. Currently, I’m part of the research project “Reciprocal relations between populist radical-right attitudes and political information behavior” led by Prof Dr Silke Adam (supervisor) at the University of Bern, and Prof Dr Michaela Maier at the University of Koblenz-Landau. Originally from the Dominican Republic, I did my BA in International Relations at the ITESM in Mexico, and obtained my MSc in Political Science (research) at the University of Amsterdam.


My research focuses on political information flows in a digital age and its effects on political attitudes. It has been published in internationally-aclaimed journals, such as the International Journal of Press/Politics and Social Media + Society. In these projects, I make use of computational methodologies to explore web behaviour, social media use, and to conduct large-scale automated content analyses through text-as-data approaches.

I classify my research into three main branches:

  • Aggregate information flows: Here I focus on aggregate-level sharing of news on social media. I research what influences the difusion of political news across social network sites, addresing the role played by emotions, as well as the impact elections have on changing patterns of news engagement.
  • Individual access to political information: Using a combination of survey and digital trace data, I aim to understand how people access political information. This work speaks to the areas of media exposure measurement, and accurate classification of political and hyperpartisan content.
  • Effects of political news consumption: Here I research how consumption of political news impacts individuals’ trust in politics, and likelihood to participate in political processes.

Download my resumé.

  • Political communication
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Computational social science
  • Social media engagement
  • Media effects
  • R and Python languages
  • PhD in Political Communication, Ongoing

    University of Bern

  • MSc in Political Science (research), 2020

    University of Amsterdam

  • BA in International Relations, 2018

    Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Publications and Working Papers

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(2022). News, Threats, and Trust: How COVID-19 News Shaped Political Trust, and How Threat Perceptions Conditioned This Relationship. International Journal of Press/Politics.


(2022). Panning for gold: Lessons learned from the platform-agnostic automated detection of political content in textual data. arXiv preprint arXiv:2207.00489.


(2021). Electoral News Sharing: A Study of Changes in News Coverage and Facebook Sharing Behaviour During the 2018 Mexican Elections. Information, Communication and Society.