The final part of the results of my survey of blogging journalists relates some of the findings to wider research into blogging and journalism, and also looks at some of the differences between sectors and industries.
Blogging has grown and developed considerably in the years since the studies of journalism blogs by Robinson (2006) and Singer (2005) – indeed, three-quarters of respondents had only started blogging since that research was published (in that time the BBC, for instance, expanded from its first blog in December 2005 to 43 in less than a year (Hermida 2008 [PDF]))
Respondents frequently spoke of a rapid transformation by their employers from resistance to blogs to wholesale adoption, in which commercial considerations have played an important role. These ranged from search engine optimisation (blogs help improve the rankings of news websites on search engines such as Google), to “bringing readers back more often”; “a cheap way of getting lots of content online and … resulting ad impressions” (Respondent 113, UK, freelance), to a perceived opportunity to make money, and a way of protecting against the threat from citizen media and the declining state of the news industry itself: Continue reading
The 6th part of the results of my survey of blogging journalists looks at how blogging has affected the relationship with the former audience.
Of all areas covered by the survey the relationship with the audience was by far the most affected, with over half of respondents saying it had been “enormously” or “completely” changed. In particular, journalists felt they had developed a more personal relationship with the reader, who was no longer an anonymous figure. Continue reading
The 5th part of the results of my survey of blogging journalists looks at how blogging has affected what happens after news is ‘published/broadcast’.
In the post-publication or post-broadcast phase of journalism, blogging has introduced a more iterative and ongoing format. Some phrase this in terms of old media paradigms – the items have “more legs” – while others identify how the previous process of “moving on” to the next big story and forgetting about the old one no longer applies so strongly: Continue reading
The 4th part of the results of my survey of blogging journalists looks at how blogs have affected how news production is affected by blogging.
The area where respondents most often identified a change in news production was in the rise of a looser, more personal, and less formal writing style, echoing the findings of Wall (2005). Respondents talked of finding their “voice”, being more informal and “creative”. For some this fed back into the mainstream news vehicles, particularly for broadcast journalists whose work previously involved less writing. Continue reading
The second part of the results of my survey of blogging journalists looks at how blogs have affected how journalists generate story ideas and leads.
Blogs and news ideas: “The canary in the mine”
For blogging journalists, blogs have disrupted the traditional processes of journalism in a number of ways.
Respondents spoke of a clearer perception of audience needs and interests as a result of comments and visitor statistics, which in turn fed into the choice of topics and angles to cover. Continue reading
Back in June I distributed an online survey to find out how journalists with blogs felt their work had been affected by the technology. 200 blogging journalists responded in total, from 30 different countries.
The responses paint an interesting picture: in generating ideas and leads, in gathering information, in news production and post-publication, and most of all in the relationship with the audience, the networked, iterative and conversational nature of the blog format is changing how many journalists work in a number of ways. Continue reading