Political blogs and the changing discourse of public persuasive communication: A textual analysis of pre-primary coverages of 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections

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Pattanayak, Saswat
McAdams, Katherine C
In the weeks leading to the primary of 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, the blogosphere was filled with new kinds of informal ramblings and profanities rarely witnessed in public discourses. The present study undertook content (textual) analysis of blogs and traditional news articles to examine a few research questions: If there were any noticeable shifts in languages and discourse of traditional news that seem to reflect the blogosphere; if the comparisons between blogs and traditional news indicate shifts in journalistic norms; the characteristics of intersecting relationship between traditional journalism and blogs; the possible impacts of blogs on journalistic standards of objectivity; and in the final analysis, in what ways does the influence of the blogosphere appears to be reflected in the headlines and language of non-blog journalism texts, whether overt or more implicit. The study analyzes 300 news items and indicates that blogs and traditional media have an influence on one another in unanticipated ways. In conclusion, it encourages continuous explication of changing norms in news coming from, and influencing, alternative media. The study also proposes the “Blogosphere Model” following critical analysis of the mass media historiography.