Judith Turnbull

The Blogs of the European Commission: Public-private Space in a Professional Institutional Context

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Blogs, EU commissioners, personal identity, institutional identity.

The paper will examine and compare the blogs posted by EU Commissioners which, as the official EU website says, will give 'a personal, insider's view on EU affairs'. They would appear to be a way of bringing the EU institutions closer to EU citizens. However, blogs contain a kind of inherent contradiction in them because of their very public, but private nature. In the case of EU commissioners this will probably lead to tension between the purpose of a blog - a more intimate and personal expression of ideas, attitudes and beliefs - and the institutional role of the Commissioner. The Commissioners come from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, which may lead to different approaches to this new genre and how each one exploits it to establish his/her own professional and institutional identity. A very eclectic methodological approach has been adopted in order to capture the many aspects of the use of blogs in an institutional context, drawing on Herring et al.'s classification for assessing the characteristics of blogs, Critical Discourse Analysis and Appraisal Theory.

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