Perceptions of Influence on and of Political Bloggers: A Survey of Top Political Bloggers
19 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 10, 2011
Political bloggers emerged as a force in American electoral politics during the last two presidential election cycles. Described as “the pamphleteers of the 21st century,” as “technoactivists,” and as a “new class of professional communicators,” political bloggers will most certainly play a role in the upcoming presidential election. However, empirical understandings are lacking in regards to what that role might be and how this group might influence and interact with the larger political and media landscapes.
Through a survey of 135 political bloggers writing for the top 200 political blogs, the study examines this emergent group by analyzing their conceptions of their functions and roles in the upcoming presidential campaign, the factors that influence their choice of particular blog topics, and their perceptions of the influence of the left- and right-wing political blogospheres and the mainstream media on a variety of outcomes, groups, and issues. Results indicated a remarkable degree of similarity between political bloggers of varied partisan orientations regarding the importance assigned to various roles and functions of their work, as well as the factors that influence their choice of blog topics. Regarding the perceived influence of the political blogospheres and the mainstream media on an array of topics, interesting nuances emerged indicating both similarities and significant differences between the partisan groups’ perceptions.
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