How Blogs Influence The Media

    January 10, 2008

Blogs have an impact not only on the speed and availability of the news, but also shape the tone and editorial direction of reporting a survey of U.S. journalists by Brodeur finds.

Blogs are a regular source for journalists with more than three quarters viewing blogs as helpful in giving them story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue. Almost 70 percent of all reporters check a blog list on a regular basis. Twenty percent said they spend more than an hour per day reading blogs. Fifty-seven percent said they read blogs two to three times a week.

Jerry Johnson

Jerry Johnson, head of strategic planning at Brodeur said, "While only a small percentage of journalists feel that blogs are helpful in generating sources or exclusives, they do see blogs as particularly useful in helping them better understand the context of a story, a new story angle, or a new story idea."

"It appears that reporters are using blogs more for ethnographic research than they are for investigative research."

Journalists are becoming more active in the blogosphere. Twenty-seven percent have their own blogs and 16 percent have their own social networking page. Forty-seven percent of reporters describe themselves as "lurkers", meaning they read blogs but rarely comment.

The majority of journalists thought blogs were having a major impact on news reporting in all areas with the lone exception being in the area of news quality. Sixty-one percent said that blogs have a significant impact on the tone and editorial direction (51%) of news reporting.

"Like any new social phenomenon, the blogosphere has become a resource for reporters," said Johnson, "but reporters are still creating their stories by going out and developing their own ideas and talking to their sources."

"The blogosphere’s tail is not wagging the media body — at least not yet," he said.