A new article by Florian Toepfl and Eunike Piwoni is forthcoming in the journal New Media & Society. Its title and abstract read as follows:
This study illustrates how the emphasis structure of counterpublic discourses surfacing online can be predicted by that of the dominant publics that these counterpublics – at the argumentative level – so resolutely oppose. Deploying a single common case study design, the article scrutinizes a counterpublic discourse that surfaced in the comment sections of Germany’s opinion-leading news websites in the week after the surprising electoral success of a new anti-Euro party, the AfD. Quantitative content analysis identifies 75% of all comments posted (n = 2,955) to all articles about the AfD (n = 19) as part of an anti-Euro counterpublic. While this counterpublic sharply opposed the editorial lines of Germany’s unanimously pro-common-currency media, it still aligned its efforts closely with this dominant public – albeit at a deeper level. As the findings demonstrate, the frequencies with which commenters adopted six emphasis frames were significantly predicted by the frequencies of these frames in mainstream news.
Keywords: political communication, counterpublics, public sphere, comment sections, content analysis, Germany
The accepted manuscript of the article can be downloaded here.