The Power of the People: Blogger & Citizen Journalist Sourcing Beats the Traditional Media

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.

Neat, eh?


Boring From Within

This link goes to Editor and Publisher's ranking of the "Top 30" news sites by number of visitors, compares this month's visitors and last months, and also provides a link to last month's rankings. So the really intrepid can construct a data series if they want to simply by spending this Sunday on a time journey through E&P's ranking reports.

Interesting is that the Top 2 news sources, AP and Reuters are not included as popular sites to visit. It is quite amazing to think about this when clicking through a news site like Huffington Post for example. Check the sources of the news stories, not the opinion pieces. Reuters is as easily obtained as the BBC, and I think AP is too. UPI is a subscription. If we all prefer to go to "aggregators" where stories are pre-selected, probably based on a digital pre scan of tags for coherence with current areas of interest, and then a human interface, just what news are we getting when we visit these "most popular sites" (MPS)?

Is the Internet Our New Primary Source of Edutainment?

The YouTube, MySpace, Facebook; all of these sites are significant amongst the millions and millions of internet websites around the world. These are among the more popular and more controversial sites that plague favorite past times. The big question, however, is are these web browsers and the many others out there on the internet the new source of education and entertainment?