Framing the Massachusetts Cape Wind debate among active online publics
Benson, Bennett Isaiah
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The proposed offshore Cape Wind Energy Project in Massachusetts would be the first of its kind in the United States. Activist groups have lobbied for and against this project since 2001. This research consists of a content analysis of activist groups’ master frames and online comments on Cape Wind news articles retrieved from The Boston Globe website. The most salient advocacy master frames concerned environmental benefits, like the production of clean energy, and political benefits, such as energy independence. The most salient opposition master frames regarded economic risks, primarily concerning an increase in the cost of electricity. Advocacy comments were recommended more often than opposition comments, although opposition comments appeared earlier in response to Cape Wind news articles than advocacy comments. Opposition comments containing aesthetic risks were recommended more often than other opposition comments.