Identifier

etd-05282008-145627

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

"Information is the currency of democracy" -Thomas Jefferson This research offers the first comprehensive study of state-focused political bloggers in the United States. Applying original data from the author’s nationwide survey of state-focused bloggers conducted during the summer of 2007, this study addresses three primary research questions: Who are the people creating blogs focused on state politics? What motivates these people to initiate and maintain their blogs? Do these blogs play a discernable role in a given state’s politics, and if so, how? Rooted in the literature of framing; agenda setting; uses and gratifications; news norms and routines; media and democratic accountability; and political knowledge, efficacy and engagement, this research considers the impact of the blogosphere on politics at the state level, finding many similarities between state-focused bloggers and their already-studied brethren at the national level. Findings presented here include demographic data, information concerning state-focused bloggers’ attitudes toward state and national media, and information about these bloggers’ political attitudes. To complement the quantitative survey data, this study also includes three case studies using the four stages of frame development presented by Miller and Riechert in their discussion of the spiral of opportunity (2001). To the author’s knowledge this is the first time Miller and Riechert’s work has been applied to the blogosphere. Ultimately defining impact as influencing the framing of an issue in the state political context, this research indicates that blogs are indeed having an impact in state politics.

Date

2008

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Robert "Kirby" Goidel

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