MPSA 2009 - Socio-political profile of Quebec-based political bloggers
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MPSA 2009 - Socio-political profile of Quebec-based political bloggers MPSA 2009 - Socio-political profile of Quebec-based political bloggers Presentation Transcript

  • Structure of the presentation1. Current state of the research;2. Overview of the Quebec blogosphere and its members;3. Rising profile of political blogs;4. Research objectives;5. Methodological considerations;6. Results;  Demographical analysis;  Online political behavioural profile;  Offline political behavioural profile.7. Discussion.
  • Current state of the research • Politically-oriented blogs:  Publicly-available;  Low-cost;  Single or multi-authored (coproduction-oriented);  Limited to no external editorial oversight;  Publication of politically-oriented facts and arguments;  Ideologically-driven or partisan in nature;  Content and human-interactive features. • Growingly important source of information:  2006 Midterm U.S. Elections: 20% of Web users got political news only, up from 9% in 2004; “One of the keys” to the rising “popularity of blog readingSources; Sweetser and Kaye, 2008; Drezner and Farrell, 2008; Pirch, 2008; Rainie and Horrigan, 2006; Adamic and Glance, 2007;
  • Current state of the research • Political blogosphere studied in several national contexts:  United States;  Canada;  Europe. • Many research projects focused on “A-list bloggers”:  High profile;  Opinion leaders (influential):  Recipient of large numbers of inbound links;  Quoted by conventional media organizations;  Heavily trafficked “information hubs”. Potentially unrepresentative and distorted characterization of the blogosphereSources; Wallsten, 2005, 2007; Munger, 2008; McKenna, 2007; Xenos, 2008; Bar-Ilan, 2005; Perlmutter, 2008; Woodly, 2008.
  • Current state of the research • Different research methods and objectives:  Quantitative (descriptive):  Content;  Structure.  Qualitative:  Political orientation of publications;  Bloggers self-introduction techniques;  Etc. • Majority of politically-oriented blogs known as “filter”: • Heavy use of hyperlinks; • Emergence of “gated cybercommunities” favouring “enclaved deliberations”; • Mapping the blogosphere.Sources; Su, Wang et al., 2005, Hinduja and Patchin, 2009; Park, 2009; Trammell, 2007; Tremayne, 2005; Xenos, 2008; Veenstra, Sayre et al., 2007
  • Current state of the research • Previous research on the political blogosphere:  Many wide-ranging studies, but few comprising political dimensions:  National;  Local.  Few studies on the socio-political profile of political bloggers:  Study of the Swedish blogosphere (Kullin, 2006):  Study of the U.S. political blogosphere: Most comprehensive  Wallsten (2008);  McKenna (2007);  McKenna and Pole (2004).Sources; Lenhart and Fox, 2006; Nardi, Schiano et al., 2004; Wallsten, 2008; McKenna and Pole, 2004; McKenna, 2007; Kullin, 2006.
  • Quebec blogosphere and its participants • Characterization of weblog research in Canada:  Initial stages;  Most studies focusing on English language blogs in the United States;  Few studies published on the Canadian context:  Overview of the structure of the Canadian political blogosphere (Braaten, 2005);  Canadian Parliamentary blogosphere (Small, 2008);  Influence of Canadian bloggers on the press (Chu, 2007);  Content analysis of Canadian political blogs (Koop and Jansen, 2007)Sources; Braaten, 2005; Small, 2008; Chu, 2007; Koop and Jansen, 2007;; Trammell, Takowski et al., 2007
  • Quebec blogosphere and its participants • Quebec is a Canadian province characterized by its specificities:  Cultural;  Economic;  Linguistic;  Political. • Potentially sharp distinctions with North American studies; • Small size of the Quebec political blogosphere (representativeness of the sample); Estimated 125 Quebec-based political bloggers. • Few studies on the socio-political profile of bloggers;Sources; Fournier, 2001, 2002; Rocher, 2002; Wallsten, 2005; Hinduja and Patchin, 2008; Qian and Scott, 2007; Schmidt, 2007
  • Quebec blogosphere and its participants • Growing interest of Quebec-based Web users for the blogosphere: Data  26% of Quebec-based Internet users have read at least one blog;  8% have authored at least one weblogSource; CEFRIO, 2008
  • Rising profile of political blogs • Growing levels of distrust of conventional media organizations;  Political coverage revolving around strategy-oriented news frames;  tendency to provide interpretative coverage of political news;  Content fuelling political distrust among the public. • Increasing reliance on Web-based communication channels for political information and opinion:  News credibility of the Web hard to evaluate. • Rising importance of blogs:  Publication platforms enabling audience participation;  Growing popularity;  Etc.Sources; Best and Kueger,2005; Sweetser and Kaid, 2008, Druckman, 2005; Jones, 2004; De Vreese and Elenbaas, 2008; Kushin, Yamamoto et al., 2009.
  • Research objectives • Political and media environment increasingly turning to “gatewatching”-oriented processes; • Research objectives:  Provide a socio-demographical portrait of Quebec- based political bloggers;  Define their political preferences and interests. • Research hypotheses:  Emerging Quebec blogging community will contain highly politically-engaged and sophisticated individuals;  Quebec-based political bloggers are more likely to be predominantly conservative.Sources; Bowers and Stoller, 2005; Ackland, 2005; Kavanaugh and Patterson, 2001: 499; Polat, 2005: 451; Jackson and Lilleker, 2007: 245.
  • Methodological considerations• Publicly-available secure online survey available from April 15th 2008 to May 1st 2008 inclusively;• 58 questions unevenly distributed in seven sections of different sizes addressing specific themes;• Constitution of the research sample was twofold:  Selection of 22 A-list political bloggers;  snowball technique used in a viral dissemination approach for the information circulation of the survey: Research sample  Through A-list bloggers;  Through conventional 56 respondents; media representatives 73% of A-list bloggers; (journalists). 71% recruited through the viral procedure.
  • Results• Socio-demographical profile of Quebec-based political bloggers: Data  Men(84%);  18-35 years-old (54%);  Completed university degree(54%);  Members of the active workforce (54%);  Annual income exceeding 25 000$ Quebec-based (CAN) (64%); political blogger  French is the mother tongue (92.7%).
  • Results• Geographical distribution of Quebec-based political bloggers: Québec (29%) Montréal (46%) Quebec-based political blogger
  • Results • Political preferences of Quebec-based political bloggers: Data  63% have left-leaning political views:  Progressivism;  Socialism;  Communism.  21.4% have right-leaning political views;  3.6% defined themselves as greens or ecologists. The U.S. conservative blogging community was “two to three times as large” than its progressive counterpart in 2003.Source; Bowers and Stoller, 2005.
  • Results • Positions on issues specific to the Quebec political environment: Data  66% support the project of the political sovereignty of Quebec;  21.4% oppose the project of the political sorereignty of Quebec;  13% did not answer the questions Among the general public, the level of support varies between 39% and 54%.Sources; Léger Marketing, 2008; Béland and Lecours, 2006.
  • Results• Time spent online by Quebec-based political bloggers: Time spent online Percetage of bloggers Less than 15 hours online per week 32.7% 20 hours online per week 25.5% 25 hours online per week 10.9% 40 hours online per week 7.3% Online socio-political behavioural profile
  • Results• Years spent in the blogosphere by the respondents: Years spent in the blogosphere Percetage of bloggers Less than one (1) year 16% More than one (1) year 83% More than three (3) years 34% More than five (5) years 14%• Quebec-based political bloggers dedicate an average of de 23,16 hours to their blog(s) per week. Online socio-political behavioural profile
  • Results• Characterization of their publications: Characteristics Percetage of bloggers Majority of posts comprising 77% politically-oriented information Partisan tone 50% Focusing on provincial, regional 68% or local political matters Focusing on international 15% political matters Focusing on Canadian federal 5% issues Online socio-political behavioural profile
  • Results• Presence of Quebec-based bloggers on social networking platforms: Data 67.9% of Quebec-based political bloggers are usingWeb-based social networking services. Online socio-political behavioural profile
  • Results• Quebec-based political bloggers’ voting behaviour: 2007 Quebec 2006 Canadian Provincial elections Federal elections 88% voted 84% voted• Quebec population’s participation in the elections: 2007 Quebec 2006 Canadian Provincial elections Federal elections 88% voted 84% voted Offline socio-political behavioural profile
  • Results• Quebec-based political bloggers’ political preferences during the 2007 Quebec Provincial election: Political party Level of support among bloggers Liberal Party of Quebec 5.4% Parti Québécois 35.7% Action Démocratique 10.7% Québec Solidaire 16.1% Green Party of Quebec 5.4% Offline socio-political behavioural profile
  • Results• Quebec-based political bloggers’ political preferences during the 2006 Canadian Federal election: Political party Level of support among bloggers Liberal Party of Canada 1.8% Bloc Québécois 41.1% Conservative Party of Canada 12.5% New Democratic Party 14.3% Offline socio-political behavioural profile
  • Discussion• Here are elements to consider:  Impact of the blogosphere on mainstream political actors;  Future of research:  Importance to consider specificities within the blogosphere:  Geographical concerns;  Demographical characteristics of bloggers;  Etc. QUESTIONS