Networked Framing: Chinese Microbloggers’ Framing of the Obamas’ Political Discourses at the 2012 DNC
22 Pages Posted: 2 May 2013 Last revised: 3 Sep 2018
Date Written: August 1, 2013
The complexity of foreign affairs has increased exponentially in the digital age, with political discourse intended for domestic audiences now distributed through and commented upon by foreign social media. This study examines Chinese Sina Weibo users’ framing of the Obamas’ speeches at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC). A critical investigation of the sources of the most popular microblogging posts on the Obamas’ speeches reveals that influential independent users and alterative commercial media rather than official media dominate the framing of these two DNC speeches on Sina Weibo. A close textual analysis indicates that elite Chinese microbloggers have a good understanding of U.S. electoral politics, although the “social media contest” frame and issues related to China and Asia received particular attention. Our exploration suggests that traditional framing research needs to take into account a new form of “networked framing” that relies on the interactions between elite and non-elite users and algorithmic aggregations afforded by new digital platforms.
Keywords: Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, DNC, public diplomacy, social media, microblog, China, Sina Weibo, discourse, campaign
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