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As a new feature of the media system, the blogosphere is an extremely interesting subject for scholarly inquiry. One might spend research time along a variety of lines: why people blog, why people read blog content, the relationship of the blogosphere to the established media outlets, the who/what/when of blog content production and consumption, the subject matter of blog posts, the effects of exposure to blog content, the potential for and limitations on interactions, and so on, for quite a long list. Given that the blogosphere is a recent addition to the media mix, and itself a (presumably) unintended consequence of a technological innovation (computer-mediated communication, as a channel) and a heavy investment in infrastructure (the Internet, as an information transport resource), it is unsurprising that so much foundational inquiry into the blogosphere is warranted, and that the initial scholarly answers to the questions are so divergent! It seems fair, to me, to consider this situation as a real-life instance of the old joke about blind men arguing among themselves about what kind of thing an elephant is, each placing his hand on a different part of the elephant's anatomy.1 We might be able to stipulate that the blogosphere has quickly become a social object of some degree of consequence and interest, but beyond that the insights we have into it will necessarily be shaped heavily by what aspects of the blogosphere we focus upon (the part of the elephant's body) and the tools we use to investigate it (our hand, and sense of touch). One of those body parts this blind man happened to touch was the way bloggers would share their understandings of the meanings of current events--the frames in which they understood the bare facts--and the hand with which I reached out was rhetorical framing analysis.


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© 2010 From Doing News Framing Analysis by P. D’Angelo & J. A. Kuypers (Eds.). Reproduced by permission of Taylor and Francis Group, LLC, a division of Informa plc.