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Reporters use blogs, but don't trust them

NOTE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! And thanks very much for linking, Prof. Reynolds.

Previously, I posted about how the relationship between blogs and the mainstream media is increasingly one of interdependence, not parasitism.

Now, via ZDNet, ClickZ News reports on a study done by Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University. It showed that many professional journalists are not just reading blogs, but actively using them as an aid to their reporting:

The Euro RSCG/Columbia study shows that more than 51 percent of journalists use blogs regularly, and 28 percent rely on them to help in their day-to-day reporting duties. By contrast, a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project survey showed that just 11 percent of the U.S. population as a whole reads blogs.

"The fact that the media are using blogs for reporting and research... demonstrates that blogs have an enormous potential to not only influence the general public, but to influence the influencers — journalists and the media — as well," said Aaron Kwittken, CEO of Euro RSCG Magnet, in a statement.

Journalists mostly used blogs for finding story ideas (53 percent), researching and referencing facts (43 percent) and finding sources (36 percent). And 33 percent said they used blogs to uncover breaking news or scandals. Still, despite their reliance on blogs for reporting, only 1 percent of journalists found blogs credible, the study found.
I'm going to have to get a new irony detector. My old one just exploded.

Bill Quick says the survey bears out a prediction he made years ago.

Via InakaYabanjin and Slashdot, the Wall Street Journal points out that marketers are reading blogs, too, to see what people are saying about various brands.


Anonymous said...

"I'm going to have to get a new irony detector. My old one just exploded."

That's a great line, Gaijin!

Posted by UML Guy

Anonymous said...

I imagine they "use" them in the same way they use everything else - as a means to justify their poor reporting.

Most journalists don't seem to be able to get past the tripe they've been taught in college, much less the fact that anyone disagrees with "elite" opinion. 

Posted by Anonymous

Anonymous said...

I would imagine that the poll question must have been poorly formed for the credibility number to be so low. Maybe something like: "Do you believe everything you read in blogs?" As Glenn Reynolds implies in linking to this post, a primary point of a blog is to allow verification through links. 

Posted by Don't want spam

Anonymous said...

Good point, DWS. We'll be able to see the actual question soon enough. From the Euro RSCG Magnet website:

"A complete version of the report will be available July 2005 at Printed copies of the study can also be ordered by contacting Diana Nasello." 


Posted by GaijinBiker

Anonymous said...

Err, as a reporter, I don't see this as a much of a contradiction. I mean, we use rumors to get story ideas and cover breaking news, too. But would argue that rumors are credible?

That said, the question itself is kind of dumb. "Are blogs credible?" Well, doesn't it depend on the blog, and the blogger? Credibility is something that's earned over time, and blogs haven't been around for that long, so it's not surprising that many people don't trust them. But that's changing, I think.

I wrote a little more on this topic here . 

Posted by derek rose

Anonymous said...

David Weinberger, author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined and Cluetrain Manifesto, argues that blogs, or the Web, redefines credibility.

``The Web gets its value not from the smoothness of its overall operation but from its abundance of small nuggets that point to more small nuggets.''

I listened to a lecture he gave at the Library of Congress digital future titled ``Everything Is Miscellaneous.'' It's well worth a listen and can be downloaded here   

Posted by bunkerbuster



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