Students at Black Hills State University are currently conducting research to determine if access and participation in blogging engage citizens in the democratic process, contributing to their civic learning.

Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, assistant professor of mass communication at Black Hills State University, was recently awarded a $5,100 Chiesman grant for this research.

Caton-Rosser, along with her research team members: Dee Sleep, community member and former BHSU adjunct faculty; Caylen Groen-Jones, senior mass communication major from Edgemont; Heather Smith, junior mass communication major from Belle Fourche; Odessa Backen, sophomore art major from Spearfish; Tina (LiTing) Sun, sophomore mass communication major from Rapid City; and Alicia McNeary, freshman English major from Rapid City, will be analyzing the blogging on four news-sites. 

The sites being studied are Rapid City Journal, Billings Gazette, Denver Post, and Minneapolis Star Tribune. 

The project is centered on the political participation process of blogging in a presidential election year.

The group’s project was recently selected to be presented at the Fifth International Technology, Knowledge and Society Conference. They will be presenting their project "virtually" at the conference the end of January  2009.