Blogs Influence Availability of News, But Not Quality

Blogs Influence Availability of News, But Not Quality

According to a survey of US journalists by Brodeur, a unit of Omnicom Group,  blogs are not only having an impact on the speed and availability of news but also influencing the tone and editorial direction of reporting. The biggest impact of blogs, says the study, is in the speed and availability of news, while 61.8% of the respondents said that blogs were having a significant impact on the "tone" of news reporting, and 51.1% said they influenced "editorial direction.

The majority of journalists said blogs were having a significant impact on news reporting in all areas tested, except news quality. The biggest impact has been in speed and availability of news, and secondarily to tone and editorial direction.

Impact of Social Media and Blogs on News Reporting (% of respondents)

Aspect

Very Significant

Somewhat Significant

Not Significant

Speed of news

32.0%

42.1%

24.8%

Availability of news

32.6

36.0

30.9

Tone of discussion

10.7

51.1

37.0

Editorial direction

8.4

42.7

49.4

Quality of news

12.4

30.9

55.6

Source: Brodeur, January 2008

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."

Blogs are a regular source for journalists: Over three-quarters of reporters see blogs as helpful in giving them story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue.

Helpfulness of Certain Aspects of Blogs (% of respondents)

Insight

Very Helpful

Somewhat Helpful

Not Helpful

Getting story ideas and new anlges

23.4%

54.9%

21.7%

Gaining insight into the tone of a debate or discussion

27.3

48.9

23/9

Getting information on breaking news

10.7

36.2

53.1

Identifying and validating news sources

7.3

24.3

68.2

Finding quotes and soundbites

3.4

24.3

72.3

Source: Brodeur, January 2008

Nearly 70% of all reporters check a blog list on a regular basis:

  • Over one in five (20.9%) reporters said they spend over an hour per day reading blogs
  • Nearly three in five (57.1%) reporters said they read blogs at least two to three times a week
  • 71% of journalists have a list of blogs that they check on a regular basis
  • 47.7% have five or fewer blogs
  • 23.3% have a regular blog list of six or more
  • 29.9% of journalists have no regular list

One in five reporters spend over an hour a day reading blogs, and nearly three in five read blogs at least 2 to 3 times a week.

Time Spent Reading Blogs by Reporters (% of respondents)

Hours Reading

Percent Reading

>4 hours a day

2.3%

1-2 hours a day

18.6

2-3 times a week

36.2

2-3 times a month

33.3

Never

9.6

Source: Brodeur, January 2008

Journalists are increasingly active participants in the blogosphere:

  • One in four reporters (27.7%) have their own blogs
  • Nearly one in five (16.3%) have their own social networking page
  • About half of reporters (47.5%) say they are "lurkers" - reading blogs but rarely commenting.

Johnson said, "...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."

For the detailed release, please visit Marketing Charts here, or to download the PDF file, go here.

 

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