by: Lynette Webb

 Click image to enlarge.

Image from Flickr CC www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/35414862/ thanks to thomashawk
Stats are from www.cyberjournalist.net/news/003623.php which I found via Robin’s wonderful blog www.cybersoc.com. They’re based on a recent phone survey in the US carried out by Pew Research.
I’m highlighting this because there are still an awful lot of people out there who have a stereotypical view of blogs - that they’re all teenage ramblings, stories about what your cat did, and other jetsam. Well, yes, there’s a lot of that, and long may it continue, but there’s also another more serious side to blogging that these stats help demonstrate.

The emergence of (some) bloggers as journalists was also pointed out in Chris Anderson’s wonderful Long Tail book. From page 185: “In their own area of interest, the bloggers often know as much if not more than the journalists, they can write as well and they are much faster. Sometimes, because they are participants not just observers, they even have better access to information”. Ah, but I hear you cry, how can you trust what they say is accurate? On page 186 there’s a quote addressing this from a guy called Richard Posner (“a judge/legal scholar”) who said: “What really sticks in the craw of conventional journalists is that although individual blogs have no warrant of accuracy, the blogosphere as a whole has a better error-correction machinery than conventional media… Not only are there millions of blogs, (but) readers post comments that augment the blogs… the blogosphere has more checks and balances than the conventional media, only they are different”. 

 
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