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Monday, May 16, 2005

Reuters runs 2-month-old story on blogs

Eagle-eyed LST reader Kim points out this Reuters story, reprinted today on the Chronicle's website:
NEW YORK – Web logs, or blogs, may be a powerful new force in U.S. politics but they have not displaced traditional media in terms of information and influence, a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project revealed today. Charting the discussion of issues during the 2004 presidential campaign, the study found political blogs – online opinion and information sites – played a similar, but not greater role, as the mainstream media in “creating buzz” around the candidates’ campaigns. The study dispels the notion that blogs are replacing traditional media as the public’s primary source of information, said Michael Cornfield, a senior research consultant at Pew.
The story sounded vaguely familiar, so I went back and looked at the Pew study. The report is available here as a PDF. It was released on March 6. One of the problems with print journalism is that it's inherently slower than the Internet. But who knew it was that slow? Further, the lede is misleading. The most traditional of "Traditional media" -- newspapers and magazines -- are doing worse than ever. Only 39% of respondents characterized newspapers as a primary source of information about the 2004 presidential race. That's flat compared to 2000, but down from 60% in 1996. In addition, magazines have slipped from 11% to 3% in the same time frame, while the Internet has grown six-fold.

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