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3 • Summer 2011
Study Shows Some Blogs Affect Traditional News Media Agendas
by Marcus Messner and Bruce Garrison
This study, which explored the source interaction between elite traditional news media and political filter blogs, found traditional news media frequently cite blogs in their coverage, but the source attribution to the blogs is often vague.
he influence of blogs stems mainly from the attention traditional news media journalists pay to the opinions of the blogosphere as a means to assess the mood of the country.1 Today, not a week goes by in which traditional news media fail to refer to reporting or editorializing of blogs.2 However, the focus of the traditional news media is generally only on “A-list bloggers, those whose thoughts are heard and quoted far beyond the blogosphere and in mainstream media.”3 Subsequently, the question arises as to what degree blogs influence the traditional media’s news agenda as sources. Agenda-setting is one of the most widely applied theories in mass communication research.4 McCombs pointed out that, in addition to studying correlations between news agendas, examining the sources of media agendas is becoming increasingly important in a news environment that is dramatically changing and diversifying through the Internet.5 Researchers have turned their attention to the media as news sources for themselves. Under the concept of intermedia agenda-setting, researchers study how journalists “rely heavily on each other for ideas and confirmation of their news judgments.”6 The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore the intermedia agendasetting relationship between traditional news media and blogs by analyzing the influences of sources on the respective media agendas. The concepts of __________________________________________
Messner is an assistant professor in the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. Garrison is a professor in the School of Communication at the University of Miami.
which Breen defined as “how the media set their own agenda for news. they do not lack credibility with readers. This influence is greatest when blogs influence news events as a collective by creating a buzz. illuminate or interconnect the news rather than create it. when a blogger published sexually explicit instant messages from Florida Congressman Mark Foley16 to male congressional pages. but have also started to adopt the blog format to direct traffic to their own websites. only few blogs have agendasetting power on the traditional media.”11 Traditional news media have a strong influence on the topics the blogosphere is covering as most blogs link to media websites. Filter blogs serve as “focal points”23 that bring attention to interesting posts of less renowned blogs. bloggers do not necessarily adhere to common journalistic standards such as fairness and accuracy.15 The impact that a single blog can have in politics was again demonstrated in the 2006 congressional midterm elections. Literature Review When blogs first gained the attention of the traditional news media.9 Subsequently. coverage of blogs in the traditional news media has changed from a focus “on the sexy or ‘hot’ aspects of new media technology”24 to the use of blogs as sources in reporting.”18 several scholars have turned their attention to this subset of agenda-setting research during the past two decades.7 Most bloggers are engaging in editorializing and would not consider themselves journalists.13 In addition. but rather commentators. many traditional news media outlets have not only begun to monitor blogs. Especially.12 While some journalists question the ethical standards of blogs.8 Many blogs are presenting polarized points of view. While Perlmutter and McDaniel found a sharp increase in mentions of blogs in the traditional news media between 1998 and 2005. News coverage that was initiated by blogs has found its way into the traditional news media on many occasions. the political blogosphere can be separated as to liberal or conservative.10 Bucy.22 However. Gantz and Wang stressed that bloggers “often amplify.14 Numerous research studies and professional articles have focused on the blogs’ impact on the traditional news media.21 Blogs derive their influence from a focus on partisan expression and stories that are based on alternative. there was widespread debate about whether bloggers could be considered journalists and what impact they would have on traditional journalism practices.17 Under the concept of intermedia agenda-setting.113 intermedia agenda-setting and agenda building were applied to explore the process between the traditional news media and the blogosphere. non-elite sources.20 The power of blogs as agenda setters for the traditional news media has been clearly established in major news events as well.25 Messner and DiStaso confirmed a steady increase of the overall number .Messner and Garrison: Study Shows Some Blogs Affect .19 Recent research on intermedia agenda-setting focuses on the impact of Internet media on the traditional news media news agenda in political elections. Overall.
114 . Research Questions The following research questions were derived from the literature: RQ1: How frequently do traditional news media use blogs as sources? RQ2: Do traditional news media use blogs predominantly as factual sources or as opinion sources? RQ3: Are there differences among traditional news media in their use of blogs as sources? RQ4: How frequently do blogs use traditional news media as sources? RQ5: Do blogs use traditional news media predominantly as factual sources or as opinion sources? . However.27 Several other studies have established that sources shape news reports more than journalists. 3 • Summer 2011 of articles mentioning blogs between 2000 and 2005 and found that the reporting on the blog phenomenon did not increase as much as did the use of blogs as sources and the simple mention of blogs in articles. Shoemaker and Reese stressed that news sources can have a strong effect on the content of the news media. as Mencher pointed out. sources can be factual as well as opinionated.Newspaper Research Journal • Vol. We cannot determine the truth of opinions and judgments.26 While agenda-setting researchers generally focus on the impact of the traditional news media on public opinion. No. the study of sources that shape the media’s agenda. All we can do is to quote the source accurately. news sources are used by journalists for fact gathering purposes. Sources are interviewed to report and verify information for a certain story. more scholars have turned their focus on agenda-building. 32.28 Generally.29 Therefore. not all facts can be verified as journalists work on tight deadlines and with limited resources. seek countering opinions and let the reader or viewer decide.
the Los Angeles Times. Talking Points Memo. However. Eschaton. The Washington Post. traditional news media and blog content were analyzed in the . television dia and the use of traditional news media in blogs.Messner and Garrison: Study Shows Some Blogs Affect . Consequently. The 2006 congressional midterm elections were selected to collect data as they had several incidents involving blogs that had an impact on the election outcome. A matching sample of 10 political filter blogs was drawn from blogs that were not affiliated with traditional news media.115 RQ6: Are there differences among blogs in their use of traditional news media as sources? Method Intermedia agenda-setting Both newspapers and has been predominantly studied television networks used through content analysis. television networks Monitor and USA Today. which were Instapundit.1 under study were The New York percent (n=49) factual Times. ABC News.5 percent CNN.30 This blog sources more to show study utilized quantitative content analyses to analyze the use of blogs opinions than to present as sources in traditional news mefacts. The televi64. Little Green Footballs. Powerline and Captain’s Quarters.9 percent (n=62) differences between the two media types. Michelle Malkin. The Christian Science sources. Because previous studies have analyzed election coverage during twomonth periods before elections. CBS News and NBC News. They were matched with the same number of conservative filter blogs.5 percent (n=80) opinion sion networks under study were sources and 35. Fox News. The liberal filter blogs were DailyKos. The traditional networks used more news media sample included an opinion sources than did equal number of national newspapers and television networks newspapers. The sample included an equal number of conservative and liberal blogs to be able to analyze possible differences. (n=44) factual sources. The sample was drawn based on a combination of rankings and samples used in previous studies31 as well as from the blog rankings Technorati and The Truth Laid Bear. Newspapers in order to study similarities and used 55.32 this study also followed that scheme. Crooks and Liars and Think Progress. The national newspapers opinion sources and 44.
ABC News (n=18) and CBS News (n=15). A filter question was included in the coding protocols to distinguish among the election context and other contexts in which the blog references were made. USA Today (n=86) and Christian Science Monitor (n=26). 7. Newspaper articles and television news transcripts were accessed through LexisNexis Academic by a search for the keywords blog. 2006.794 traditional news media sources. Instapundit (n=397). All blog posts were searched for traditional news media sources. Think Progress (n=719). These split into 46. including 833 newspaper articles and 294 news transcripts. It was found. The most references were made by The New York Times (n=537). The Washington Post (n=237). Little Green Footballs (n=389).102 references of the search terms were found of which 70 percent (n=1. The search resulted in a count of 4. 2006. The 294 news transcripts were divided as follows: CNN (n=184). the least by NBC News (n=3). that of the overall references. the fewest by ABC News (n=21). To answer this question. It used the same sample of traditional news media and blogs as the first study and used the same time period. Michelle Malkin (n=425).127 newspaper articles and news transcripts. Eschaton (n= 262). It was found that 27. The most blog references in the election context were made by CNN (n=219). a distinction had to be made between overall references to blogs and the use of blogs as sources.92.1 percent (n=570) of all references were made in the context of the election. blogger and blogosphere.Newspaper Research Journal • Vol.3 percent (n=195) other . 59 percent (n=1. No. NBC News (n=20). 21.241) a simple mention of blogs and 9.127 newspaper articles and television news transcripts. All coding was based on pre-tested coding protocols. 8. 32. The highest number of references in one article/transcript was 44. which were divided among the blogs as follows: DailyKos (n=943).88 for Scott’s pi.470) were made in newspapers and 30 percent (n=632) in broadcasts. This resulted in a total count of 1. Talking Points Memo (n=461). Findings Research questions 1-3 analyzed the use of blogs as sources by traditional news media. to Nov. resulting in a Scott’s pi of 0. one or several sources.116 . Posts could contain none. In the 1. Intercoder reliability was assessed at 0. Intercoder reliability was assessed with two trained coders.7 percent (n=306) in television news transcripts. The 833 newspaper articles were divided as follows: The New York Times (n=270). Crooks and Liars (n=531). 2. the lowest one. A census of the blog content was retrieved from the online archives. Fox News (n=57). Powerline (n=358) and Captain’s Quarters (n=309). 3 • Summer 2011 two-month period leading up to election day—from Sept.33 Another quantitative content analysis was conducted to address the use of traditional news media sources in blogs. R1 asked how frequently traditional news media use blogs as sources. Los Angeles Times (n=214).7 percent (n=666) constituted the use of blogs as sources.3 percent (n=264) references in newspaper articles and 53.
9 times per day as sources in their coverage.7 percent (n=105) of the blog source uses did not name a certain blog but cited blogs in general or the blogosphere instead.4 percent (n=8) were used as opinion sources.4 percent (n=80) named 48 different blogs with three or fewer citations. In comparison. Of the filter blogs. On the other hand. A total of 47. newspapers and television networks. A factual source was defined as an information-contributing source.2 percent (n=111) of the 235 blog sources used in the election context were used by newspapers and 52. The results for the filter blogs showed a reverse source use. The relatively high number of other uses can be explained by the fact that many news organizations still reported on the blog phenomenon itself. the majority of source uses were not in a context of the elections.6 percent (n=10) were used as factual sources. Of the overall source uses.8 percent (n=124) by television networks. USA Today (n=3) and The Christian Science Monitor (n=3) as well as NBC News (n=2). The most blog sources in the election context were used by CNN (n=84). with conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan (n=12). who had affiliated himself with Time. Only 23.117 uses. Therefore. However.3 percent (n=290) of the simple mentions were made in the election context. An analysis of the blog source uses in the context of the elections showed that many source uses did not specify which source was cited. As mentioned above. The question was answered by comparing the two media types.9 times per day as a source during the 61-day election period. R2 asked whether traditional news media predominantly use blogs as factual or as opinion sources. which has developed into an online newspaper and conservative blogger Lucianne Goldberg. the 10 traditional news media used blogs 10.4 percent (n=142) of the blog sources were used as opinion sources and 39. It was found that 60. ABC News (n=1) and CBS News (n=1) . A total of 44. Only 7. as the most-cited blog. 47. R3 asked whether there are differences among traditional news media in their use of blogs as sources.Messner and Garrison: Study Shows Some Blogs Affect .3 percent (n=235) were made in the context of the 2006 congressional midterm rlections. Of these other blogs source uses. as well as the 10 individual media outlets in their use of blog sources. while 55. Only five of these other blogs were cited four or more times: The liberal blogs AmericaBlog and MyDD. 71. the 10 traditional news media used blogs on average 3. the former blog Huffington Post.7 percent (n=112) of the source uses cited other blogs. which constituted neither a use as a source nor a simple mention of blogs.6 percent (n=93) as factual sources. 44. while an opinion source was defined as a source that editorializes on facts and takes a side in an argument. with Michelle Malkin (n=9) ranked the most-cited filter. a lower result was found for the simple mentions of blogs. 35. On average.7 percent (n=18) of the source uses were citations of the filter blogs included in the sample.
A total n % n % n % n % of 96. The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times balanced their use of factual and opinion sources. business and other contexts these sources were used in by the political blogs. No.2 percent (n=4) by newspapers.2 44 41. Most of these outlets balanced their use of named and unnamed blog sources. Newspapers used 55.0 3 1. however. The New York Times (n=3) and The Washington Post (n=1) used the filter blogs in the sample as sources.7 35 31. There were also differences in how the 10 media outlets used their blog sources.5 percent (n=80) opinion sources and 35.9 percent (n=62) opinion sources and 44.0 7 6. 32.2 45 19.9 0 0. 3 • Summer 2011 hardly ever Table 1 used blog Traditional Media: Specific Blog Source Use in Election Context sources in an election conMedia Outlet Filter Blog Other Blog No Name Total text.8 Christian Science tion context Monitor 0 0.916) of the sources.406) of the traditional .3 by the televiUSA Today 0 0.8 0 0.9 percent (n=4. television networks 64.9 2 0.7 22 20.8 cent (n=120) New York Times 3 16.7 source uses Fox News 9 50.4 news chanTotal 18 100 112 100 105 100 235 100 nels CNN and Fox News.8 perCNN 5 27.878).0 1 0. It was found that 91.0 1 0. As mentioned above.9 0 0. However.0 2 1.7 26 23. used more unnamed blog sources. A breakdown by individual blogs showed that the number of traditional news media source uses varied greatly.8 percent (n=14) of the filter blogs sources were used by television networks and 22. There were also differences in the source use of the different media outlets CNN and The New York Times used more opinion than factual sources. 14 12.8 percent (n=2.0 0 0.1 of all blog Washington Post 1 5.5 13 12.118 . CNN. conservative bloggers for 39. A total of 4.6 21 18.8 1 1.7 16 6.Newspaper Research Journal • Vol.2 16 15.0 2 1. The second content analysis analyzed the use of traditional news media sources by blogs during the two-month period leading up to the election and answered research questions 4-6. television networks used more opinion sources than did newspapers. the fewest in Eschaton (n=262).9 84 35.0 9 8. The most sources were found in DailyKos (n=943).4 by the cable ABC News 0 0.3 sion networks NBC News 0 0.9 44 18. Liberal bloggers accounted for 60.0 3 2. Only Fox News (n=9).5 percent (n=44) factual sources.0 1 0. [See Table 1] Both newspapers and television networks used blog sources more to show opinions than to present facts.3 in the elecLos Angeles Times 0 0.9 were made CBS News 0 0.0 3 1.794 traditional news media sources were identified in the 10 blogs. The method also incorporated a filter question to distinguish political.4 36 15. 77. while Fox News used more factual sources.2 percent (n=1.0 1 0. CNN (n=5).1 percent (n=49) factual sources.
0 USA Today 43 1.744) of the source uses in the election context. only 8 percent (n=31) of the sources in Little Green Footballs were used in reference to the election. On average. the percentage of source uses in an election context varied between 34. 49.1 percent (n=1.352) of the traditional news media sources were used in the context of the election and 50.5 percent (n=703) of all traditional news media sources in DailyKos and 72.7 context.9 percent (n=2.0 traditional news media source. The ratio of sources used in an election context versus those used in other contexts also varied greatly by blog.8 the 2.438) in other contexts.Messner and Garrison: Study Shows Some Blogs Affect . 1.0 percent (n=260) referred Christian Science Monitor 2 0.119 news media sources were used in a political context.2 percent Cannot Determine 14 0. Therefore. Of the overall source uses. R4 asked how frequently blogs use traditional news media as sources.1 percent (n=2. It was found that 49. This shows that many other political issues were addressed in these source uses that were not directly related to the elections. Another filter question determined the source distribution among election and other contexts. conservative bloggers for 25.3 posts showed that The Washington ABC News 147 6.6 percent and 54. Of Los Angeles Times 46 2.2 NBC News 176 7.6 (n=218) of the sources. The context could not be clearly determined for four sources.3 percent (n=63) in a business context and 6. 11.352) Table 2 Blogs: Elite Traditional Media Cited were made in the context of the in Election Context election. However.140 48.1 percent (n=2.6 times per day in their election coverage. The source uses in an election context broken down by individual blogs varied greatly with the most sources used by DailyKos (n=703) and the fewest by Little Green Footballs (n=31).6 times per day.352 100 differences were revealed with the . The Washington Post 260 11. great Total 2. While 75. liberal bloggers accounted for 74. the context could not be determined.0 A breakdown by specific tradiCNN 218 9.9 percent (n=608). Overall.5 followed by CNN with 9.1 to The Washington Post.3 Post was the most frequently cited Fox News 95 4. the 10 blogs used traditional news media 78.8 percent. the 10 blogs on average used traditional news media Traditional Media n % sources 38. For two sources.794 traditional news media sources during the 61-day period leading up to the election. Again. which was Other 1.352 citations in the election CBS News 39 1. not all source uses in a political context were equal to uses in an election context.2 percent (n=333) in Talking Points Memo were used in an election context.5 tional news media cited in the blog The New York Times 172 7. In the seven other blogs.7 percent (n=323) in other contexts. The analysis found that the 10 filter blogs used 4.
3 1.140 % 5.140 other traditional news media sources showed that the news agencies Associated Press and Reuters. 3 • Summer 2011 Los Angeles Times.7 100 R5 asked whether blogs predominantly use traditional news media as factual or opinion sources.7 1. the National Review.3 4. CBS News and The Christian Science Monitor combined accounting for only 5. the National Journal.0 1. [See Table 3] Table 3 Blogs: Other Traditional Media Cited in Election Context Traditional Media Associated Press National Journal National Review Congressional Quarterly Reuters The Wall Street Journal Washington Times (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune Time Roll Call Hartford Courant Newsweek US News & World Report New York Daily News New York Post Washington Monthly Boston Globe WKRN (Nashville) San Francisco Chronicle Weekly Standard Billings Gazette Denver Post Chicago Tribune Seattle Post-Intelligencer New Republic Philadelphia Inquirer Other Total n 67 54 51 49 47 47 37 37 27 24 22 20 20 16 16 15 15 1 13 13 12 12 11 11 10 10 464 1.5 percent (n=130) of the traditional news media sources in the blog posts. The results of this analysis showed that 76 percent (n=1.1 1. Other uses and cases that could not be determined accounted for 4.9 40.5 percent (n=1.9 1.2 3.9 4. 32. However.4 1.140) of all sources used in the context of the election were traditional news media not included in the sample of this study.787) of the traditional news media sources used in the election context were factual sources and 19.0 1.9 percent (n=467) were used as opinion sources. Nevertheless.2 2.9 0. . No.3 1. The 10 elite traditional news media were used 77.3 1.9 percent (n=933) as factual sources and 18.4 percent (n=221) as opinion sources.7 1. An analysis of the 1.5 4.7 4.0 1.3 1.1 percent (n=98).4 2.7 percent (n=464) of these other traditional news media sources were cited fewer than 10 times. 40. 48.1 3. Congressional Quarterly and The Wall Street Journal were also widely cited in blog posts covering the election. showing the great variety of the sources used by the blogs.1 4.5 percent (n=245) as opinion sources.4 1. There were only minor differences found between the source use of elite traditional news media sources and other traditional news media sources during the coding process.3 1. The other traditional news media sources were used in 74 percent (n=844) as factual sources and in 21. [See Table 2] Coding during data collection had accounted for other traditional news media to be included as sources in blog posts and recorded the specific media.Newspaper Research Journal • Vol. The same definitions were applied as in the first study.0 0. USA Today.120 .
5 traditional news media sources. Most of the Table 5 traditional news media sources in Conservative Blogs: Specific Traditional the election context were used by Media Source Use in Election Context DailyKos (n=703) and the fewest by Traditional Media n % Little Green Footballs (n=31).3 used 54. revealed a more diverse selection of traditional news media sources.1 percent (n=787) other NBC News 21 3.2 much more frequently than did Other 720 41.2 in the frequency of traditional ABC News 119 6.6 percent (n=253) elite traditional news Total 608 100 media sources and 58.6 CNN 21 3.744) of the source uses and conservative blogs for 25.3 well as the 10 individual blogs. An analysis of the use of traditional news media sources as factual and .5 and 45.6 ences between liberal and conserWashington Times 32 5.744 100 context. Think Progress. These two different types of Traditional Media n % political blogs were compared as CNN 197 11. however.1 percent (n=945) elite ABC News 28 4. specifically between liberal Source Use in Election Context and conservative political blogs.8 the elections. liberal blogs accounted for 74.2 (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune 34 5. An analysis of the selection The Washington Post 82 13.6 news media source use during the National Journal 51 2.9 percent (n=608).4 of specific traditional news media The New York Times 47 7.1 percent (n=353) other traditional news media sources. Other 245 40. Crooks and Liars. Instapundit. A closer examination of individual blogs.9 two-month period leading up to Associated Press 49 2.7 sources showed significant differNational Review 44 7. Eschaton.9 conservative blogs was detected The New York Times 125 7.121 R6 asked whether there are differTable 4 ences among blogs in their use of Liberal Blogs: Specific Traditional Media sources.1 percent (n=1. In the election Total 1. Little Green Footballs and Captain’s Quarters selected the majority of their sources from elite traditional news media.3 conservative blogs.8 Fox News 63 3. Michelle Malkin and Powerline selected the majority of their sources from other media.2 first difference between liberal and NBC News 155 8. While liberal blogs Fox News 32 5.6 traditional news media sources Wall Street Journal 22 3. Talking Points Memo. while DailyKos.3 vative blogs.Messner and Garrison: Study Shows Some Blogs Affect .8 traditional news media sources Reuters 39 2.3 conservative blogs used 41. Liberals blogs used Congressional Quarterly 48 2. The The Washington Post 178 10.
all blogs used traditional news media more frequently as factual sources than as opinion sources. On the other hand. they were 69.1 percent (n=315) opinion. While the traditional news media sources in liberal blogs were 78. However.122 . however. Using each other as factual and opinion sources has become very common for traditional news media and blogs. four of the top 10 source choices were conservativeleaning traditional news media. this circumstance raises questions as to whether newsroom attribution policies have to be implemented or amended.34 They are seen as providers of unfiltered information and they have developed a collective influence that cannot be ignored by traditional news media journalists. Moreover. However. the Washington Times (n=32). Nevertheless. In contrast. a combination that violates traditional journalistic standards that separate facts and opinion. the analysis of other elite traditional news media showed similar trends.Newspaper Research Journal • Vol. Blogs have taken on the role of commentators and investigative resources at the same time. the Associated Press (n=49). several conservative-leaning traditional news media were frequently used as sources by conservative bloggers. Fox News (n=32) and the Wall Street Journal (n=22). Liberal blogs used more factual sources and fewer opinion sources than did conservative blogs. many blog source uses are only attributed to generic blog terms and not specific blogs. While CNN was the only traditional news media outlet that did not specifically attribute the majority of its blog sources. an analysis of the choice of specific traditional news media sources showed different trends for liberal and conservative blogs. Blogs have the “outsider status” that television had in the 1950s.1 percent (n=1. As this study has shown. blogs are also gaining a growing influence on the agenda of traditional news media. With National Review (n=44). [See Table 5] Discussion The findings of this study show that traditional news media heavily influence the agenda of blogs by being their dominant sources. [See Table 4] Liberal bloggers predominantly relied on the elite traditional news media in this study with National Journal (n=51). It does not come as a surprise that there is some hesitation among journalists to trust blogs. which leads them not to fully attribute information to specific blogs. Congressional Quarterly (n=48) and Reuters (n=39) as the exceptions at the bottom of their 10 most frequent choices. such as Fox News not nam- . CNN (n=197). 32. The Washington Post (n=178) and NBC News (n=155) were the top choices of liberal blogs. No.362) factual and 18. CNN (n=21) ranked only ninth among their top 10 source choices. blogs are competing with many other sources in shaping the traditional media news agenda. While the top source choices of the conservative bloggers were The Washington Post (n=82) and The New York Times (n=47). 3 • Summer 2011 opinion sources showed differences between liberal and conservative blogs.9 percent (n=425) factual and 25 percent (n=152) opinion in conservative blogs.
not only for journalists.39 However. the more blogs are used as trustworthy sources by traditional news media. this has the potential to develop direct agenda-setting effects on public opinion. this study shows that there is no consistency in how traditional news media use blogs as sources.5 percent of its blog sources. Overall. Television networks have generally been more trusted than newspapers because of their “visual realism. Maintaining high quality reporting and attribution policies will be the challenge of the future. there might not be a reason for audiences to consume their news. The New York Times did not name 35. the more credibility they will gain as journalists tend to choose sources that have proven to be trustworthy and newsworthy. this phenomenon cannot only be attributed to a possibly more relaxed attribution policy on cable news channels. However. Over time.37 they have higher rankings on credibility with their users and high rankings on depth of information with politically interested Internet users.123 ing 36.Messner and Garrison: Study Shows Some Blogs Affect . While journalists might monitor a small number of filter blogs. and many of the blogs were not necessarily cited by name.8 percent. but also for the public. The Washington Post 50 percent and the Los Angeles Times 43. there is no indication that they are only citing these selected blogs. According to Mencher. the more they will also be trusted by the news media audiences. If they lower their standards.” While blogs do not rank higher in terms of credibility with journalists. Certainly. While bloggers might not have a strong agenda-setting effect on the public. This is an unusual journalistic practice . The more blogs are used as sources. which can lead to an audience growth for blogs as well. and trustworthiness in this context has been shown to establish credibility. the credibility of news in the public’s view is closely linked to upholding traditional journalistic standards such as accuracy and attribution of sources.35 The standards of accuracy and source attribution establish trust between traditional news media and their audiences. There is no consistency in how individual news outlets use blog sources and in which blogs are used as sources.”36 However. the increasing uses of them in traditional news media or their appearances as interview sources on television newscasts and talk shows legitimize bloggers as credible news sources. there are no universal attribution or editorial policies in place that all traditional news media operate under when citing and referencing blogs. this would be the wrong move for already embattled traditional news media. they can influence public discourse by affecting the agenda of traditional news media. Lowering the bar further seems to be a dangerous path for traditional news media to take. which in turn have a proven effect on public opinion. A great variety of blogs were cited in the traditional news media during the election period. newspapers have ranked higher on their “expertise. On the other hand. The consequences for political filter bloggers are two-fold.1 percent of them. On the one hand. What has distinguished them from blogs and other new media formats in the past was an editorial process that guaranteed high quality news and information.38 Lowrey and Mackay suggested traditional news media adjust their practices to meet the challenges posed by blogs.
no. Paul Andrews. Walter Gantz and Zheng Wang. 59. “The anatomy of agenda-setting research. Chung. Kaye. “Uses and perceptions of blogs: A report on professional journalists and journalism educators. David P. 57. Notes 1.” The New York Times (Oct. “The next big thing: Threat or promise.” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. “Rights group fires publisher of Foley e-mail. eds. Andrews.” Journal of Communication 43. 14. Atkin (Mahwah. 1 (2006).” in: Communication technology and social change: Theory and implications. Kaye D.” Editor & Publisher 137. 2006): A20. Daniel W. 15. 26. Marcus Messner and Marcia W. Mark Tremayne.” in An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research.” Journalism Studies 6. Bidgoli (Hoboken. Jae Kook Lee and Jaekwan Jeong. 3. Trammell and Ana Keshelashvili. 2006): A15. Drezner and Henry Farrell. Michael B. 16. Perlmutter and M. David D. “Weblogs and journalism: Do they connect?” Nieman Reports 57. 3 (autumn 2007): 305-322. “The ascent of blogging. 12. no. 3 (2003): 63-64. 4. 3 (2004): 38-43. Johnson and Barbara K. more research under the intermedia agenda-setting concept is needed to explore future the media-blog relationship as it becomes part of a routine newsgathering practice online.” Los Angeles Times (Sept. 4 (winter 2005): 978. Kaye D. H. Kornblut and K. Deborah S. Trammell and Lance V.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 81. no. 3 • Summer 2011 that should be examined more closely by news organizations. Levey. McDaniel. 2007): 927-942. as it indicates a change in traditional reporting standards. which then led to the resignation of Foley and contributed to the Republican defeat in the election. A. “The source cycle: How traditional media and weblogs use each other as sources. Amy Schatz.” in The handbook of computer networks ed. “Wag the blog: How reliance on traditional media and the Internet influence credibility perceptions of weblogs among blog users. “From ‘public journalism’ to the ‘public’s journalism’? Rhetoric and reality in the discourse on weblogs. N. “Online news services.” Journalism Studies 9. 13. Rogers and James W.” American Journalism Review 26.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. article 15. “How a blogger put himself in the middle of Mark Foley story. 3. Rachel Smolkin. “Is blogging journalism?” Nieman Reports.” Journalism Studies 6. 16.” The New York Times (Oct. 10. 7. No. “Web of influence. N. 3 (2005): 60-64. Salwen and Don W. no. “Is blogging journalism?” 11. no.edu/vol12/issue1/tremayne. <http://jcmc.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 82. 12. 3 (2008): 447-463. Bruce Garrison and Marcus Messner. 3 (2005): 387-396. 12 (2004): 12-13. no. 2. 3 (autumn 2004): 622-642. 8. Kirkpatrick. N. 2 (1993): 68-84. Bucy. 2007): 150. eds. 5. “The expanding blogosphere. 2006): A1. 6. Erik P. Future research should also explore the criteria reporters use to determine the reliability of online sources. which was run .” Foreign Policy. Carolyn A. Everett M. In addition. Eunseong Kim. 145 (2004): 32-40. no.J. 1996): 93-110.J.” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 62. no. “Lawmaker questioned on e-mails to page. Traditional news media picked up the story on Congressman Mark Foley as it gained popularity within the blogosphere.indiana. E. Thomas J. 9.” Nieman Reports. Dearing.html>. “Issue politics on the web: Applying network theory to the war blogosphere. 29. Rebecca Blood. The story broke when the blog Stop Sex Predators. 32. no. Porter. Stacks (Mahwah.Newspaper Research Journal • Vol. no. “The agenda-setting role of mass communication. Jesse Oxfeld. no. 17. Lin and David J. Maxwell McCombs and Tamara Bell. Q. present and future. Maxwell McCombs.124 .: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.J. DiStaso. 2006): A16. no. “Examining the new influencers: A self-presentation study of A-list blogs. 4 (2005): 543-557. “A look at agenda-setting: Past.: John Wiley & Sons. 3 (2003): 61-63. Seelye. Noram N. no.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Tanni Haas. “Media technology and the 24-hour newscycle. “Papers knew of Foley E-Mail but did not publish articles. Nan Zheng.
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