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Only 5% Of Bloggers Are Journalists 149

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the someone-getting-called-to-testify-soon dept.
ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "A recent study has concluded that only 5% of bloggers have news as their primary topic. The study was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and found that 37 percent of the surveyed blogs were reporting on their personal life, 11 percent on political matters, 7 percent on entertainment, and 6 percent on sports. There's also plenty of extra data in the report itself. From the article: 'About 34 percent see their blogging as a form of journalism; 65 percent disagreed. Just over a third of the bloggers said they often conduct journalistically appropriate tasks such as verifying facts and linking to source material.'"
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Only 5% Of Bloggers Are Journalists

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  • Slashblog. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:27PM (#15766449)
    "Just over a third of the bloggers said they often conduct journalistically appropriate tasks such as verifying facts and linking to source material.'"

    Welcome to slashdot.
    • by aichpvee (631243)
      Which is about the same percentage of "journalists" who still do that.
      • I thought the exact same thing on seing the title. You could replace all the journalists with bloggers overnight and never notice the difference (except for a "mood : whining" icon hovering next to those working on TV).
    • Most of them just go over to the newsfeed (Reuters etc), highlight some text and hit Ctl-C then over to their text editor and hit Ctl-V.
  • Just cheaper.
  • Statistics (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Neoncow (802085)
    This just in:
    A wide-ranging study of the literate population of the world concluded that a mere 5 percent of them use news as their primary topic--a figure at odds with perceptions that literacy is remaking journalism.

    Clearly literacy has no effect on journalism.

    So what percentage of journalists are bloggers?
    • So what percentage of journalists are bloggers?

      I don't know about that, but in other news 95% of the bloggers' feelings just got hurt, and they are now whining about it on LiveJournal and MySpace.

  • Only? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linvir (970218) * on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:31PM (#15766458)

    Only? Since when was it expected that any bloggers were journalists? The only blog I know of that even comes close to journalism is Slashdot, and we all know how that turned out...

    Personally, I've always just seen it as a way to share my random shit with the rest of the world. And judging by all the other blogs I've ever read, I'm not alone in that.

    These figures are absolutely not a surprise.

    • Re:Only? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by joe 155 (937621) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:52PM (#15766510) Journal
      I would be amazed if it was as high as 5% too, although when I looked at TFA if seemed to be saying that it was infact 5% of people who have "the news" (whatever that is) as their primary topic. I have a blog which is exclusively about current affairs, does that make me a journalist?... I also have a blog which is about linux and pre-1662 hammared silver coins... does that make me a nerd?
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday July 23, 2006 @03:37PM (#15766634)
        ... I also have a blog which is about linux and pre-1662 hammared silver coins... does that make me a nerd?

        If you include current events related to Linux, are you now a "journalist"?

        What about current events regarding "pre-1662 hammared silver coins"? Such as new books being published or shows? Would that make you a "journalist" specialising in such coins?

        Is someone who writes for a Linux magazine a "journalist"? Is someone who covers coin shows for a coin magazine a "journalist"?
        • If you report on new items of interest to the community, ensure the information is valid, and report on it in a timely manner, you are a journalist serving that community.

      • by Alaren (682568) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @05:17PM (#15766833)

        Let me suggest something.

        Think of Ben Franklin's work in The New England Courant [ushistory.org] (and others), or the Federalist Papers [foundingfathers.info]. Consider The Diary of Anne Frank [annefrank.com]. Wonder about the poems of Emily Dickinson [ibiblio.org].

        If we're going to use the word "journalist" to refer to someone in the publishing industry whose primary focus is current events of arguably great impact, then there are a lot of very famous accounts of history, editorials, philosophies, works of literature, and yes, indeed, journals which were not penned by journalists.

        We as a society can allow this term to be hijacked for profit and for exclusionary purposes, but I would suggest we avoid such acceptance.

        It's true that the internet has sent the signal-to-noise ratio to a very uncomfortable place. But such a state of affairs is not without its benefits. We should stop mimicking the music and movie industries, who try so hard to rein technology in and maintain the status quo by compartmentalizing things with archaic usages. We should be looking for the benefits and moving forward, instead.

        • Think of Ben Franklin's work in The New England Courant (and others), or the Federalist Papers. Consider The Diary of Anne Frank. Wonder about the poems of Emily Dickinson.

          If we're going to use the word "journalist" to refer to someone in the publishing industry whose primary focus is current events of arguably great impact, then there are a lot of very famous accounts of history, editorials, philosophies, works of literature, and yes, indeed, journals which were not penned by journalists.

          Precis

    • If you subtract the real live journalists who happen to now use "blog" format - also known for the last century or more as a news feed...

      Then that 5% becomes... 0%.

      Funny how that works out.
    • Only? Since when was it expected that any bloggers were journalists? The only blog I know of that even comes close to journalism is Slashdot, and we all know how that turned out...

      It also depends on how you'd define journalism. There are a lot of people I know who have no journalism training, who I'd consider much better journalists than many of the paid front-line journalists for newspapers, TV and radio. There have been more than enough times when I've felt irritated that a journalist didn't actually

  • Way higher than 11% (Score:5, Informative)

    by big tex (15917) <torsionality&gmail,com> on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:33PM (#15766461)
    5% are reporting on the media. The ones discussing sports, entertainment, politics, etc. are on a journalistic bent, whether or not they cover the media.
    This is like saying that the only journalists at NPR do the "On the Media" [onthemedia.org] show.
    Once again, lies, damn lies, and statistics.
  • 5%? That's a lot (Score:5, Informative)

    by appleprophet (233330) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:34PM (#15766464) Homepage
    Very misleading headline... The article is about how 5% of blogs are about news in the real world, as opposed to emo LiveJournal/Xanga stuff. Calling anyone with a website who writes about something they saw on TV a journalist is kind of strange.
    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @03:42PM (#15766639)

      Calling anyone with a website who writes about something they saw on TV a journalist is kind of strange.

      It's not just strange- it's wrong. My job title at one point was "Systems Engineer". I didn't have an engineering degree, and my father (who did) was severely irked, rightfully so; just because I came up with solutions involving computer systems did not make me an "engineer". This is the same kind of BS. "Journalist" is a professional title, and you can't slap it on a person simply because they yack about current events.

      "Web loggers" point to FOX news and say "If THEY'RE journalists, I sure as hell am, especially since unlike them, I don't lie or distort things!" WRONG. FOX news staff are REPORTERS. If they went to school and studied journalism, THEN they are a journalist. Bill Oreilly is not a "journalist"; he's a cross between a commentator and a talk show host.

      Go to Merriam-Webster and look up "journalism". Under "2B", you'll find "writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation". When anyone in the media talks about "journalism", that is the context they are referring to, not the OTHER definition of "someone who keeps a journal" (ie, diary.) Most of the "web loggers" who get up in a tizzy about this, compare themselves to professional journalists, which indicates they are using the 2B definition.

      Most "web loggers" are PURELY in the business of interpreting news, events, or situations. That makes them news commentators ONLY!

      • My job title at one point was "Systems Engineer". I didn't have an engineering degree, and my father (who did) was severely irked, rightfully so; just because I came up with solutions involving computer systems did not make me an "engineer". This is the same kind of BS. "Journalist" is a professional title, and you can't slap it on a person simply because they yack about current events.

        "Web loggers" point to FOX news and say "If THEY'RE journalists, I sure as hell am, especially since unlike them, I don'

      • "Bill Oreilly is not a "journalist"; he's a cross between a commentator and a talk show host."

        The word you're looking for is propagandist. 8^)

      • "It's not just strange- it's wrong. My job title at one point was "Systems Engineer". I didn't have an engineering degree, and my father (who did) was severely irked, rightfully so; just because I came up with solutions involving computer systems did not make me an "engineer". This is the same kind of BS. "Journalist" is a professional title, and you can't slap it on a person simply because they yack about current events."

        Bullshit. If you were, in fact, engineering solutions with computers, it is reasonable
        • The problem isn't the degree, it's title inflation: most system "engineers" are, in fact, system technicians: managing and maintaining working systems, rather that designing the system (bridging the gap between a real-world problem and various technical solutions.) That someone not have an 'engineering' degree is secondary. The fact is that very few people are really doing any kind of architecture or process design. An MCSE, for example, just teaches you how to maintain and, occassionally, implement a speci
          • There are places in the world (Ontario being one of them) where the term "Engineer" is protected. It can only be used to designate a person certified by a governing body (ie Professional Engineers of Ontario), and carries a lot more weight than just a job title. It also indicates a professional and personal responsibility for the work done. If an engineer places his stamp on a blueprint, and the building falls down due to a design defect, the approving engineer is personally responsible.

            Of course, the te
          • Microsoft attempted to address this in recent incarnations of the MCSE program. There are now manadatory "design [microsoft.com]" tests [microsoft.com] for the MCSE. They created a seperate track for technicians called the MCSA [microsoft.com], which does not require design tests.

            Whether the ability to design a big Active Directory structure qualifies someone to call himself an engineer is probably debatable. Afterall, there are housewives who call themselves "domestic engineers", garbage men to call themselves "sanitation engineers", etc.

      • To treat journalism as if it were anywhere on the same level as physics, or medicine, or (as you pointed out) engineering is just fucking ludicrous.

        A poet doesn't need a degree in poetry to be a poet. A writer doesn't need a degree in literature to be a writer. A painter doesn't need a degree in art to be a painter. And a journalist (who's simply another kind of writer) doesn't need a degree to be a journalist. Journalism isn't even remotely close to rocket science.

        And a good thing, too, given the stat
      • It's not just strange- it's wrong. My job title at one point was "Systems Engineer". I didn't have an engineering degree, and my father (who did) was severely irked, rightfully so;
        Go to Merriam-Webster and look up "journalism". Under "2B", you'll find "writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation". When anyone in the media talks about "journalism", that is the context they are referring to

        That's fine then, using a strict interpr

      • "a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation""

        Theres no such thing as an unbiased fact. Everything is interpreted. Misinterpretation can be as simple as omission. I thought the whole point of journalism was to be as subtle as possible with your slant, so that people will think its "unbiased". Theres no such thing as an unbiased interpretation.

    • The headline is indeed misleading. After reading "Only 5% Bloggers are Journalists", I expected an article about how only 5% of bloggers have actually studied in the field of journalism in college.
    • Calling anyone with a website who writes about something they saw on TV a journalist is kind of strange.

      You could say the same thing about anyone with a newspaper press who writes articles and hands their paper out on the subway to try and make a buck. Focusing on the manner of delivery rather than the form of the writing is a mistake.

      That said, I'd think we would be much better off using the word "reporter" to mean someone who reports facts that they have collected and verified themselves from an objectiv
  • by Anonymous Coward
    blogging about blogosphere, repeating what other bloggers are blogging. It's a self-sustained feedback loop. I'm pretty sure it's also major energy source in the future.
    • [Most bloggers are] blogging about blogosphere, repeating what other bloggers are blogging.

      Most bloggers are throwing messages in bottles into the sea, but their bottles don't have corks.
  • Is this the most useless poll ever? Or, by asking this question, have I just beaten it?
  • Type Mismatch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzheado (733418) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:42PM (#15766487) Homepage
    Slashdot headline - "Only 5% Of Bloggers Are Journalists"

    Slashdot summary - "About 34 percent see their blogging as a form of journalism"

    Er, get it right.

    The article said "only 5% of bloggers have news as their primary topic."

    News is a form of journalism, but not all journalism is news.

    • Re:Type Mismatch (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      To count the number of journalists, looking at bloggers who have news as their primary topic might be a better indicator than bloggers who *think* they are a journalist.
  • by reporter (666905) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:51PM (#15766504) Homepage
    The key quote from the article states, " Just over a third of the bloggers said they often conduct journalistically appropriate tasks such as verifying facts and linking to source material ."

    Given such low journalistic integrity, we should view the typical blog as merely an opinion piece.

    Still, a blog is useful in offering a unique perspective on a political issue; this perspective can spur actual journalists to re-think the issues on which they report. For example, conservative blogs gave a convincing analysis questioning the veracity of documents presented by Dan Rather in his report aired on "60 Minutes" [washingtonpost.com]. Soon afterwards, actual journalists examined the suspect documents in detail and concluded that their are likely fake. Rather eventually apologized for using unverified documents to slander a political candidate.

    In short, blogs (like other forms of expression) play an important role in a democracy, but we should never use blogs as a final, reputable source on par with a story by actual journalists at "The Economist", the "Wall Street Journal", or the "New York Times". Conferring the status of journalist on the typical blogger is equivalent to saying that 4 years of undergraduate study leading to a journalism degree from Harvard University is a waste of time.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      For example, conservative blogs gave a convincing analysis questioning the veracity of documents presented by Dan Rather in his report aired on "60 Minutes".

      No, they provided concrete proof the documents were created with Microsoft Word [littlegreenfootballs.com] and not a typewriter, therefore they are fake, since Microsoft Word did not exist in the 1970s.

      Soon afterwards, actual journalists examined the suspect documents in detail and concluded that their are likely fake.

      No, they are absolutely fake.

      Rather eventually apologized fo
      • http://littlegreenfootballs.com/
        Reconsider your source, since that site seems to be very closed minded enough that they wont accept criticism - try signing up there. Consider a source that *doesnt* seem to resemble an echo chamber.

        saying that 4 years of undergraduate study leading to a journalism degree from Harvard University is a waste of time.
        The connections you get in that place of exclusivity are enough to guarantee that you'll never view the population the same way you did when you entered.
    • by Alaren (682568) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @05:01PM (#15766800)

      Journalism, at its heart, is writing about your experiences. "Reporters" years ago were just that--people who made an effort to report events, especially new events--hence, the "news." Journalistic integrity was not about checking sources, it was about establishing a reputation as trustworthy regarding one's reports.

      Are they "professional news outlets?" Are they "personal journals?" It's the ridiculous "is blogging part of the press" argument all over again. I am wary of studies like this one because the line of reasoning becomes, "If they don't technically qualify as the press, then they aren't protected by freedoms enjoyed by the press!" Those freedoms were written into the constitution before the modern industrial press existed! Freedom of the press is just freedom of speech applied to writing and printing!

      Of course bloggers are journalists. Most of them are poor journalists. Many of them are semi-literate journalists. The "news" they report is often only of interest to a very small audience--but it is still news! It is very disappointing to me that so many bloggers would "self-report" that they aren't journalists or that they don't report news. Because it demonstrates that they have as poor an understanding of what they are doing as the people who came up with this poll.

      Conferring the status of journalist on the typical blogger is equivalent to saying that 4 years of undergraduate study leading to a journalism degree from Harvard University is a waste of time.

      Maybe we should be saying that sort of thing more often. But I'll leave you to ponder what the implications of such a democratic world would be. Here's a hint, though: there are a lot of "uneducated" bloggers with way more knowledge and far better background for journalism than some of the trust-fund children who pay their way through Harvard...

    • In short, blogs (like other forms of expression) play an important role in a democracy, but we should never use blogs as a final, reputable source on par with a story by actual journalists at "The Economist", the "Wall Street Journal", or the "New York Times".

      I feel at this point, compelled to add that ScuttleMonkey neglected to add what I felt was the most important part of the submission. Namely, the following line, which was to be the last.

      Thank goodness we still have a real press to fall back on [thesun.co.uk].

      Or word

    • The key quote from the article states, " Just over a third of the bloggers said they often conduct journalistically appropriate tasks such as verifying facts and linking to source material ."

      Given such low journalistic integrity, we should view the typical blog as merely an opinion piece.

      The "typical blog", yes. The typical blog is a bunch of pictures of vacations and friends. The typical magazine is a bunch of gossip and advertisements.

      You shouldn't treat all blogs the same. Just like you don't treat all m

  • Pedantics 101 .... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:53PM (#15766514) Journal
    Not that this is really needed, but technically, bloggers ARE journalists, just not in the common print-media definition of such. I think that the Internet classifies as a MASS AUDIENCE, and many blogs are just personal journals. Now, how the law defines journalism is a different thing. The fact that people's perceptions of that definition will skew the numbers of such a study is very important, and there is this thing called trash journalism, yellow journalism etc. The point is that journalism takes several forms. Yahoo used to be just two guys that kept a list of links they found on the Internet. A blog today that is simply someone ranting about new pc hardware, can become a huge news resource in the future... as an example. The point is, the value of a blog as journalistic resource is completly reliant on the readers perception of value of said blog. If all you want to do is read about Brittany's new clothes, I'm pretty sure you won't be reading any respected 'journalist's' writing.

    From www.m-w.com
    Main Entry: journalist
    Pronunciation: -n&-list
    Function: noun
    1 a : a person engaged in journalism; especially : a writer or editor for a news medium b : a writer who aims at a mass audience
    2 : a person who keeps a journal
  • Just because a group is mostly not journalists doesn't mean that the journalists in that group aren't journalists. There's even plenty of content in newspapers that isn't journalism, from opinion pieces to comics to movie reviews. Assuming that the 5% figure is correct, bloggers are far more likely than the rest of the population to be journalists, and they're probably more likely than the population of professional writers to be journalists.

    It's a bit ironic that the article says that only a third of blogg
  • This just in! 13-year-old girls exposing the sordid details of their lives is NOT journalism! More at 11.
  • In other news... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by identity0 (77976) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @02:59PM (#15766534) Journal
    Only 5% of world leaders are massuers.
    Only 5% of governors of California are film stars.
    Only 5% of beer is alcohol.
    Only 5% of Slashdot stories are dupes.
    Only 5% of a woman's body is different from a man's.
    Only 5% of English soccer fans are hooligans.

    Sometimes, it's the exceptions that make things interesting :)
    • And in other, other news...only 5% of the stated 5% is true, but only 5% of the time. :)
    • Sometimes, it's the exceptions that make things interesting :)

      Well, I must say that the 5% of beer that's alcohol and the 5% of a woman's body that are different from a man's do interest me. However, let me state that I have absolutely no interest in the world leaders that are masseurs, or the governors of California that are film stars, or the English soccer fans that are hooligans.

      Or in the Slashdot stories that are dupes, but are you sure those are exceptions? Some days dupes seem to be 95% of Slashdot.

    • Only 5% of beer is alcohol.
      Where do you live? Iran? You should try some Duvel or Chimay Bleu.
    • > Only 5% of a woman's body is different from a man's.

      Maybe you should choose your girlfriend more carefuly next time. ;-)
    • Only 5% of English soccer fans are hooligans.

      Hmm. Seems a little low - are you sure?
  • When i see how journalists reports on specific areas i cant stop wonder. Some topics i feel very interested and knowledged in. Big news outlets tends to always get those wrong. War reporting is amongst the worst of all. The truth seems very uninteresting in that area. Same goes for terrorism where the least interesting bit is telling the truth. I value reporting from a random blogger higher than anything from lets say CBS, Fox News, or some other bigshot western mews outlet. Thats because western journalism
  • Only 5% of bloggers are journalists therefor it can't be journalism..... And if what is going on in a person's personal life, New Orleans, is important. Or if Politics, next election, are issues they wont have any protection because its not 'journalism'.

    Own the papers, buy the journalists... then you can afford to have journalistic freedom but not if people can report on things themselves.

    Discredit blogs and you begin destroying most grass roots information in the country.

    If freedom of speakers rights matte
  • by PingXao (153057) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @03:02PM (#15766546)
    When the term became popular a couple of years ago the concept of "blogging" was seen as the online equivalent of daily journals, except that anyone could look in. Who says they all have to be journalists? Or, for that matter, why is the fact that "only 5% of bloggers are journalists" even noteworthy? Who cares? There's probably a percentage devoted to pets that the survey didn't uncover. What difference does it make? It's just another form of speech.
    • I'm guessing here, but I suspect this is a reaction to a recent Judge ruling that Blogging is a form of Journalism that attracts the same protection as tradisional media enjoy with regards to not divulging their sources. If just by blogging you can become a "journalist" people might start blogging to prevent the Police from catching the evil terrists.

      The question I supose is - should Journalists be registered? Will we end up with a society where a select few have the right to freedom of expression. If someo
  • Maybe this isn't such a bad thing. In college I felt that my best professors were the active industry participants - those that knew the current state of the art. Bloggers, as workers or enthusiastic hobbyists in their respective fields, have more insight than the average journalist who must switch between topics on a regular basis. Sure we have to use a more critical eye with blogs than we do with say, the NYT, but given the things that have been exposed primarily through blogs within the last few years
    • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @05:46PM (#15766898) Journal
      I agree with you on all point but one:

      Sure we have to use a more critical eye with blogs than we do with say, the NYT, ...

      Given recent experience with reporting by major media outlets, including especially the NYT (along with CBS and NBC), I'd say that one must use AT LEAST as much, if not more, of a critical eye on such major media outlets as one does on a blog by a "worker or enthusiastic hobbiest" in the relavant field.

      The major media's track record is abysmal: Agenda-driven bias, lack of fact-checking and outright fabrication, failure of administrative mechanisms to keep employees conforming to standards of honesty and objectivity. Worst of all are their attempts to influence politics by distorted reporting - something that they occasionally even admit to, or even brag about.
  • I myself was curious about how you do a random sample of blogs. Apparently, Pew used a telephone survey whereby they first asked if the adult maintained a blog and then they did their survey based on those who claimed that they did. Their sample of the latter group was only 233.

    You can find the actual study at the Pew website. [pewinternet.org]
  • What about the evil force that bogs down the internet??
    I'm pretty sure that if we could eliminate all the PORN of the servers we wouldn't use half the bandwidth available on the internet!
    But then again what use could we make of so much bandwidth on our hands??
    Hooray for the opposable thumbs!!
  • I wouldn't be surprised if only 5% of americans were journalists.
    • Roughly 300 million population, 5% is 15 million. 15 million journalists? I seriously doubt it. Maybe lawyers, but not journalists.
  • Blogging is not something new and revolutionary. It is the next evolution of maintaining a website. It really is a good example of software engineering moving website development forward. Standardized protocols, layout systems and a normal person-friendly user interface for everything.

    WordPress and Movable Type are very good programs and have done wonders for maintaining a personal website. Now we can focus on the content, not the layout and maintainence because they offer powerful theme management and have
  • Of course only 5 percent of bloggers are actual journalists. Most of us here know that blogging started out as nothing more than on-line diaries - that's what most of them still are (and, unfortunately, quite boring and vapid to boot). But the wider world didn't discover blogging until a few people (e.g. Drudge) started using the underlying technology as an quick-and-dirty publication mechanism. For those folks, THAT is what a blog is.

  • Only 5% of 'journalists' are journalists.
  • In the hundred years or so in the 20th century, the majority of Americans learned to read well (functional literacy). It appears that in this century the majority of Americans will learn to write well.

    I am only 24 and college educated but writing seems to be natural for me. However I am absolutely amazed at how my family and friends that are a bit older than I am cannot write as well as I can. I definitely think there is a generational gap here. And chat rooms, blogs, e-mail, instant messengers, etc are not
  • Duh! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by istartedi (132515) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @03:23PM (#15766606) Journal

    Duh!!! Blogs started as a convenient way to put up personal web pages for those who didn't want to delve into the technical details. It's only the mass media that latched onto the few blogs that compete as news outlets, and created silly words like "blogosphere", and created the impression among certain ill-informed people that blogs were primarily news outlets.

    In a related story, Only a small percent of word processing software is used by journalists. Film at eleven.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I believe that few bloggers will refer to themselves as journalists not because of a lack of professionalism or a willingness to spread inaccurate information, but because other constraints that traditional journalists are under do not affect them.

    Both in terms of choice of topics and in terms of language, traditional journalists are limited by the agenda of their medium and the whim of their publisher. They can't simply pick a topic that they're interested in (say a political one) one day and then write ab
  • ...he forgot one catagory. 27.28% of bloggers are talking about other blogs...meta-blogging, so to speak.
  • 37 percent of the surveyed blogs were reporting on their personal life, 11 percent on political matters, 7 percent on entertainment, and 6 percent on sports

    While newspapers are not so skewed to personal life, I would say that this is not unlike the distribution of the average newspaper, which has a news section, a sports sections, and entertainment section, a business section, along with editorial.

    The bulk of any newspaper is sports and other entertainment. Usually quite a bit of space is devoted to wh

  • by Jason1729 (561790) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @03:36PM (#15766633)
    journalist (jûrn-lst)
    n.
    1. One whose occupation is journalism.
    2. One who keeps a journal.


    By definition, 100% of bloggers are journalists.

    Also there's nothing in the definition relating a journalist to writing about news.
  • To what end? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wfberg (24378) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @03:39PM (#15766635)
    When I see a study like this, I ask myself, what in the world is so interesting about what percentage of bloggers are seen to be journalists?

    The only reason the "is a blogger a journalist" question ever comes up, is when people want to sue a blogger for things like not revealing sources, etc.

    By claiming that a) protection of the freedom of the press only applies to some select bunch of bona fide journalists and that b) bloggers ain't them, they seek to basically harrass bloggers (and their sources) if a story carried by a blog is inconvenient.

    Now, of course, this is riding rough shot with civil liberties. Anyone who publishes anything, to the extent that the content is of a journalistic nature, enjoys protection0s awarded to journalistic endeavour. It's the freedom of the press that's protected, not the freedom of a select bunch of bona fide accredited card-carying yale-educated fee-paying journalists.

    That still doesn't stop, e.g. Apple, sueing blogs for dumb-ass reasons (and sometimes succeeding, though they really shouldn't in most cases).

    But the question shouldn't be "are bloggers journalists" but "are we doing enough to ensure that all journalistic endeavour is protected, and that everyone can utilize their freedom of speech, and press, without fear for heavyhanded legal actions".
    The answer to the first question is "to the extent their content is journalism, yes of course, duh, and by the by, that guy that draws Garfield isn't one either even if it is printed in a newspaper", the answer to the latter is "hell no".
  • "Just over a third of the bloggers said they often conduct journalistically appropriate tasks such as verifying facts and linking to source material."

    And nearly all of those who verify their facts do so by finding somebody else online who makes the same claim. Of course those other people don't verify THEIR facts.

    If you read a typical blog - even a "journalistic" one - with anything less than a pillar of salt, you're a fool.
    • What exactly is a sufficient in the verification of facts? I mean, if I'm making note of results at CERN or Saskatoon's Synchotron, should I go out and build one to make sure that they are not outright lying about their results? Or would asking the people who work there be enough? What about reading the actual papers where the results are discussed? Interviewing the experts in the feild? Talking to someone who is in the feild? Talking to someone, while outside of the feild, who has a zeal for the feil
      • "What exactly is a sufficient in the verification of facts?"

        Asking somebody who is actually involved, or who is really in a position to know the answer would go a long way towards verifying something. But most people just quote other people who aren't authoritative in any way.

        Somebody lies and says that Tommy Hilfiger made a racist statement on Oprah Winfrey. Then somebody else hears that lie and figures it's so good a story it's got to be repeated. And then there are thousands of idiots reposting th
  • Um. Isn't this part of the definition of blogosphere?
  • Define "news".

    Do you define it in terms of what the general public wants/needs to hear, or do you define it in terms of news in the personal sense? Arguably, my personal blog serves as a news outlet to those who know me - it's news about ME, and news that I choose to share with those who read my blog. Occasionally I'll pass on the story I read through a major news outlet, but mostly it's news about me that I want those close to me to know.

  • 95% of statistics regarding blogs are made up on the spot. 98% of statistics regarding podcasts are made up.
  • Just over a third of the bloggers said they often conduct journalistically appropriate tasks such as verifying facts and linking to source material.

    And since when is that any different from 50% of the so-called "professional" journalists? How many times do we read slanted news, misrepresented facts and out-and-out unverified stories? Most journalists coming out of school see themselves as activists, not reporters. That's almost as bad as caring what Tom Cruise has to say about postpartum depression.

    I h

  • Or is your name Bob ? Or maybe Sally ?

    I just want to know two statistics,
    1) What percentage of bloggers thought they were going to get discovered by some kind of talent agency & hit the big time ?
    2) What percentage of bloggers thought they were going to get rich by showing advertisements ?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is an attack on the freedom of the press, pure and simple.

    How many 'journalists' today are merely shills for corporations to advertise? Or followers of ideas they hope resound with their readership? Creators of artificial controversy, PR companies, government cowered mouthpieces, or simply blatant liars?

    When you take money away from an endeavour, (mostly) only the pure of motive have an incentive to perform it.

    Its happened in software. The most innovative and creative software is written by people who
  • Nice! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @07:05PM (#15767129) Journal
    • 5% of bloggers have news as their primary topic
    • 37 percent of the surveyed blogs were reporting on their personal life
    • 11 percent on political matters
    • 7 percent on entertainment
    • 6 percent on sport
    And the remaining 34% could not be categorized as researchers fell asleep reading those pages.
  • by joshetc (955226)
    Correct me if I'm wrong..

    journalist - One who keeps a journal
    "blog" - an online diary
    diary - A daily record, especially a personal record of events, experiences, and observations; a journal.

    Now doesnt that make anyone that has a "blog" have an online diary which is a synonym for an online journal? Therefor having a blog makes your a journalist. Otherwise it isn't a blog...
  • 37% personal life
    11% political matters,
    7% entertainment
    6% sports
    about 35% often verify facts and link to sources

    I look at cable/"broadcast" news TV, newspapers and radio content, and I see no meaningful distinction. Except maybe blogs have swapped "personal life" and "entertainment", and "political matters" and "sports" ratios.

    The medium and mode of publishing what you think about your world doesn't make or break you as a "journalist". Neither does any specific editing process, especially as editors merely
  • 11% is an awfully large percentage to be written off as "not news." I run a political blog, and it's all news. Most of the political blogs are, with commentary added by the blogger.

  • I'd say just under 5% of journalists have news as their primary topic...
  • Why would us bloggers want to be bothered with researching topics, and doing meaningful, in-depth news on various topics, when there's so much reader demand for things like:

    1. Why we hate work so much.
    2. Who we like and don't like, in Hollywood.
    3. What we did over the weekend.
    4. Where we went on vacation. (Hollywood?)
    5. When will we have the vacation pictures posted? (I mean, it's been 2 DAYS, now!)

  • What's a journal for again?

    Oh, yes. That's right. Keep track of your daily life and the events therein. Kind of like a diary, really. That way, if anything truly interesting happens in your life, it's recorded into history. Like say, if an 10.5 earthquake were to strike and wipe out the city you live in. Then you (or historians, for that matter) can look back on your life as it was before, what life was like trying to recover from the event, and how your life had changed afterwards.

    Personally, I started a b
  • I'm pretty sure this is 20% "we're real news outlets/bloggers are just bored amateurs" and 80% "holy crap! we're losing market share to *bloggers* !!"

    The original blurb I heard was something like "Bloggers are mainly storytellers, not journalists." How ridiculous. What is "the news" if it is not storytelling? Sure, it has shiny features like talking heads, crawling news updates, and billions of dollars invested, but it's still just storytelling. FFS, they introduce features as "stories". There's "Today's To

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