Portuguese political blogs: new voices with a new discourse?

TitlePortuguese political blogs: new voices with a new discourse?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Costa e Silva, E.
Affiliation (1st Author)Centre for Communication and Society Studies, University of Minho, Portugal
Section or WGPolitical Communication Research Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodePOLF3a
Slot Code (Keyword)POLF3a
Time of Session14:00-15:30
Session TitleNew media, new politics?
Submission ID6936

Elsa Costa e Silva, Professor University of Minho (Portugal) | Communication and Society Research Centre Blogosphere, especially political blogs, have been envisaged as a new platform for public deliberation, as it promotes ideological debate and the dissemination of information. Political blogs provided new voices for political debate and may represent a new form of public sphere, enabling the rising of a public concerned with the governance of society. In that sense, political discourse in blogs has been described as a space where speech presents different features from traditional political discourse by politicians and by media outlets. Hyperlinking strategies have been pointed out as one the distinctive feature of blogs, by allowing a new kind authorship in political discourse. Also content analysis has revealed a different tone in discourse, more personal and less tied to elites’ perspective. However, the possibility for blogosphere to present an alternative independent political discussion is not to be taken for granted as some studies have demonstrated that it may be "taken" by the status quo of the traditional centers of power. This paper aims at assessing the role of the Portuguese political blogosphere in presenting an alternative political discourse for public deliberation, by analyzing the hyperlinks contained in posts and the content of blogs. Empirical studies on the pattern of interaction of the 20 most read Portuguese political blogs (pictured by social network analysis), as well as quantitative analysis of hyperlinks, offer some insights on the dynamics of political blogosphere in terms of discourse construction. Content analysis over two episodes pictured by political blogs (one national and one international), compared with media news on the subject, also provide analysis category to frame differences between these two discourses.

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