Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Are Blogs Political?

Yes, I know that blogs can be used for political purposes.  Some blogs even proclaim an allegiance to a particular political party.  (See, listing of political blogs).  But the questions I wish to pose are slightly different.  That is, 1) is there something about the nature of blogging that is inherently political?  And 2) If so, are they inherently Democratic?  Republican?  Etc....?

My first inclination is that the answer to this question is, "No."  I have always thought that the blog is exactly the type of communication that is free from the political, and commercial, pressures of mainstream media.  It is an outlet that allows anyone to create, read, and participate in, a conversation regardless of political affiliation.  My second inclination is, that if the answer to the first question is "yes," then the answer to the second question would be that they are inherently liberal (loosely, "Democratic").  

A Harris poll may indicate that both of my inclinations are incorrect.  It suggests that the respective answers may be, "yes," and, "Republican." 

The poll states that 25% of Democrats state that they are likely to find value in the information that they read in blogs, compared with 41% of Republicans.  Furthermore, only 21% of Democrats state that the information in blogs is likely to be accurate, compared to 37% of Republicans.

Figures such as these, I admit, do not necessarily prove the answers are, "yes" and, "Republican."  They do, however, give us a starting point from which we can begin to debate, ponder, probe, argue, and discuss.  Would statistics such as these hold true with regard to traditional media?  Are republicans generally more trusting of media or is there a (web) difference between blogging and traditional forms of media?

1 comment:

web difference said...

I think the poll may have some selection bias. By questioning people that are registered Democrats or Republicans, as opposed to independents, the poll targets people who are more likely to visit political blogs. Among the broader population, the results might be different.