Sunday, September 23, 2007

Women in the Political Blogosphere

I’ll be spending the semester following women who blog about politics, specifically learning how women are blogging about the upcoming elections and female candidates. In short: women covering politics in the blogosphere. I’m also curious to know how women around the world participate in political coverage online. In this coming election year, the opinions of women bloggers could help define political landscape like never before. I see the research developing over two main themes that I brought up in my preamble:
  • Women and the international blogging community. How do women stack up online in international communities? Are women taking the lead in the blogosphere?
  • Elections and bloggers. What impact have women bloggers had on international elections? How have their opinions changed and defined campaigns around the world? Do international candidates turn to blogs and the web the way U.S. candidates are doing?
I’m hoping to learn more about the impact these women publishers are having domestically and abroad. The topic is one that could have significant interest to political followers as well as women with a keen interest in their role in the political world. I’ve grown up in a family who’s never shied away from a political discussion around the dinner table. I’ve helped develop election coverage at my newspaper. I’m not seeing a large number of women candidates in this election year (besides one very notable former first lady). I’m hoping I won’t find women’s voices absent in the online arena.

USEFUL KEYWORDS: women, bloggers, politics, gender, international media, blogosphere, influence
Also, I’ve found it worthwhile to search Google for specific domains, like .uk. I need to expand to include other specific country domains, .in (India) and .au (Australia). For the time being, I’ll stick with English language blogs, at least until I get a better sense of where I’m going. So far, several of the articles and blogs I’ve found have referred me to other non-English speaking blogs.

1. Blogs by Women
A moderated directory of more than 5,000 blogs published by women, on subjects ranging from politics to business to gardening to gender and sexuality. A good starting point for locating some off the beaten path blogs by women.

2. Blog Sisters
Founded by Jeneane Sessum, this one’s worthwhile for its extensive blogroll. I’m not sure all of those listed links will prove fruitful for my research, but it’s a strong starting spot to see what women are writing about. Sessum’s name has come up in several searches and in a couple articles I’ve started reading. She’s done a great deal of work in public relations and as a communications consultant.

3. Salon’s Broadsheet: Women’s Articles, Women’s Stories, Women’s Blog
Lots of links and stories to read on this online publication. There’s a fair amount of sass and humor, but also serious stories about political issues as well. From the about the site section: “Our aim is to cast a spotlight on news that puts women in the center … whether that means tracking news about how our rights are holding up, how well we're representing ourselves politically, or how the advertising world has decided to address us. …”

Google’s academic journal search function. I’ve already found volumes of papers, theses and journal articles written about women bloggers and their impact on the blogosphere. Including papers from the journals like Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and Journal of Gender studies as well as publications like the Guardian. I’ll also need to spend some time with UNC Libraries to see what Lexis/Nexis holds.

5. Arab Media & Society
Stepping a bit into classmate Justin Martin’s interest in The Arab Free Press, this particular article on Egyptian women bloggers gives some basic overview as well as links to some specific Egyptian women. The site also looks to be useful for its links to recent Nieman Reports on similar subjects as well as links to article by country or to topics like “Women in Media” or “Media and Politics.”

1 comment:

Marcie Barnes said...

Leslie - this is an interesting topic, I am particularly curious about censorships that still exist in some cultures for women...look forward to reading more! ~Marcie