|Differences Between Political Bloggers Left and Right|
|Nation - Politics|
|TS-Si News Service|
|Sunday, 22 April 2012 02:00|
Los Angeles, CA, USA. A study of blogs using year 2008 data foreshadows the extremes of current political debate, along with the different approaches of blogs both Left and Right.
The analysis found that blogs from the Left are more collaborative and less individualistic than blogs from the right.
As presidential candidates from both parties gear up for the November election, people inceasingly turn to political blogs to provide them with the latest political news. A new study released in the American Behavioral Scientist (ABS) examined the differences among top political blogs from the right and the left and found that left-wing blogs encourage more user participation, present more opinion-related content, and were more likely to rally their readers to action.
Aaron Shaw (University of California, Berkeley) and Yochai Benkler (Harvard Law School) analyzed 155 top political blogs from a 2-week period in early August 2008.
Shaw and Benkler identified blogs representing ideologies from the left and right, then coded them for blog structure, incorporation of user activity, authorship, calls to action, and overall content.
In general, the researchers found that
● "The Left is more egalitarian in opportunities for speech, more discursive, and more collaborative in managing the sites."
● "The Right is more individualistic and hierarchical, with its practice consisting more of pointing to external stories than of engaging in discussion or commentary."The researchers noted the following specific differences between right and left wing blogs:
"In effect, readers on the right are treated more as traditional media consumers: They play a relatively passive and marginal role in producing the primary content," wrote the authors. "Users on the left have a more active, productive role, blurring the production-consumption distinction and, through this, increasing the probability that the left wing of the blogosphere incorporates a wider range of views than a more centralized model."
CitationA Tale of Two Blogospheres: Discursive Practices on the Left and Right. Aaron Shaw and Yochai Benkler. American Behavioral Scientist 2012; 56(4): 459-487.
In this article, the authors compare the practices of discursive production among top U.S. political blogs on the left and right during summer 2008. An examination of the top 155 political blogs reveals significant cross-ideological variations along several dimensions. Notably, the authors find evidence of an association between ideological affiliation and the technologies, institutions, and practices of participation. Blogs on the left adopt different, and more participatory, technical platforms, comprise significantly fewer sole-authored sites, include user blogs, maintain more fluid boundaries between secondary and primary content, include longer narrative and discussion posts, and (among the top half of the blogs in the sample) more often use blogs as platforms for mobilization. The findings suggest that the attenuation of the news producer-consumer dichotomy is more pronounced on the left wing of the political blogosphere than on the right. The practices of the left are more consistent with the prediction that the networked public sphere offers new pathways for discursive participation by a wider array of individuals, whereas the practices of the right suggest that a small group of elites may retain more exclusive agenda-setting authority online. The cross-ideological divergence in the findings illustrates that the Internet can be adopted equally to undermine or to replicate the traditional distinction between the production and consumption of political information. The authors conclude that these findings have significant implications for the study of prosumption and for the mechanisms by which the networked public sphere may or may not alter democratic participation relative to the mass mediated public sphere.
Keywords: blogs, politics, prosumption, social media.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 22:14|