PEJ New Media Index: In the Blogosphere, Calls for Bipartisanship and Confrontation

Jan 27, 2011

Last week in the mainstream media much of the commentary about the January 8 Tucson shootings reverted back to partisan bickering over the tone and impact of political vitriol. But in the social media, the post-Tucson conversation was kinder and gentler. Generally bloggers applauded a display of unity and bipartisanship.

For the week of January 17-21, fully 17% of the news links on blogs went to a Washington Post op-ed by Republican Senator John McCain commending President Obama for his speech at the January 12 memorial service for those killed and injured in the Arizona shootings according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

In a conversation dominated by liberals and moderates, those bloggers overwhelmingly praised McCain’s piece for showing what a reasonable discourse that reached across political lines would look like. Many also expressed surprise and respect for McCain, who they felt reverted to an earlier phase of his career when he was known for his independence and willingness to compromise.

Read the full report In the Blogosphere, Calls for Bipartisanship and Confrontation on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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