Structural Determinants of Local Public Affairs Place Blogging: Structural Pluralism and Community Stress

Brendan R. Watson, Daniel Riffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between community-level characteristics and the presence of public affairs place blogs in 232 U.S. cities. Two models to predict the presence of these sites are tested: a structural pluralism model, which suggests that the presence of one of these sites reflects more pluralistic voices, and a community stress model, which suggests that the presence of these sites reflects citizens' efforts to cope with community problems. Analysis of demographic and crime data using logistic regression suggests that the community stress model is the stronger predictor. Public affairs place blogs are more likely in cities with higher murder rates, poverty rates, more physical decay, and more residents with professional occupations. It is these residents-with more education and income, living on the periphery of the most affected urban neighborhoods-who are most likely to go online to write about obtrusive community problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-904
Number of pages26
JournalMass Communication and Society
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

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