State of the News Media
For an in-depth look at the state of the news media, check out the annual report from The Project for Excellence in Journalism.
For our purposes, we're focusing on the online portion - especially the section on blogs.
First, some quantitative stuff:
As the number of blogs grows, so do blog readership numbers. A study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project showed that blog readership among Internet users increased 58% in 2004. Blog readership now stands at 27% of Internet users (or 32 million Americans), up from 17% in February 2004. Blog readers are more likely to be young, male, well educated, and long-time Internet users (online for six or more years). But the Pew Internet Project also shows there has been considerable growth in blog readership among women, minorities, and those between 30 and 49 years old....
The two most common reasons people read blogs, according to the survey of blog users, is to provide a better perspective, and get news faster. Those preferences generally reflect public opinion in general on why people go the Web for news: for diversity and variety of content as well as the speed with which the Internet posts news developments....
But the most compelling stuff is qualitative; with a discussion about how blogs are different than traditional journalism - and do different things with respect to the audience.
For now, blogs are largely an echo chamber and commentary channel, rather than a "news" source. Every so often a critical mass of blog chatter or a really newsworthy fact will emerge from the blogosphere, but their impact on the traditional media dialogue is still occasional. Instead, the overall impact of blogs flows in other directions.
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