A special hat-tip to Kaili Joy Gray of Daily Kos for this, which appeared in today's Midday Open Thread:
Despite years of traditional media outlets bitching that blogs add nothing to the media landscape but simply live as parasites off recycling original traditional reporting, an academic study of local blogs shows that just isn't true:
In the 1,000 blog posts examined, bloggers used 2,246 sources, of which only 517 were from traditional media, and Watson found that local public-affairs bloggers are more likely to depend on original sources—documents, government databases, shoe-leather reporting (interviews, eyewitness reports, etc.)—than on media sources. "Additionally, when these bloggers do use traditional media sources, they are also likely to use additional, non-media sources," Watson writes.
The bloggers studied use significantly greater numbers of traditional media sources when writing about nonlocal topics, but as Watson notes, their use may be analogous to a local paper's use of a news wire to cover nonlocal news: Neither has the resources to collect nonlocal news.
This also relates, indirectly (or perhaps directly?), to the earlier references to convergence from our own Open Thread this morning.