The use of blogs for political campaigning in a developing country context: the case of South Africa
Bankole, O O
Bankole, F O
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All over the world, the use of the digital platform for political campaigning is growing. This development has the potential to empower the electorate to engage in political debate. This exploratory research aims at investigating the impacts and implications of blogging in the 2009 election campaign in South Africa. The study attempts to answer the following questions: What is the nature of the campaign blogosphere? What are the key issues addressed in the blogs? This study employed content analysis to identify the key concepts in the blogs posted during South Africa’s 2009 National and Provincial Elections. Data was gathered from the blogs of four different South African web log feeds. The coding method used in this study is priori coding, based on the concept of Cornfield, Carson, Kalis & Simon (2005), and Stanyer (2006). Findings show that, in South Africa, the use of blogging for political campaigning is still in its infancy. South African bloggers are mainly politicians, journalists and other media personnel who discuss high level political issues. The study notes a limited participation by ordinary citizens in political blogging.