This paper describes a protocol by which to conduct a “close reading” critique of financial reporting on a corporate web site. The proposed protocol helps identify the rhetorical and metaphorical features of web sites and draws attention to their potential to influence social cognition. The paper complements and extends the “close reading” example provided by Amernic (1998) and is influenced by the approach to deconstruction outlined by Martin (1990). Application of the protocol is demonstrated through a “close reading” of aspects of the financial reporting on the Microsoft Corporation web site. The “close reading” reveals some of the benefits that are likely to emerge from arousing a greater consciousness of the subtle and persuasory nature of the hypertools used to effect Internetbased financial reporting.

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