Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Blogs lead, but they also follow

[Keyword: ]. Interesting article in The Guardian about research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that looked at 40 "of the biggest and most respected political blogs and the extent to which they influence and are influenced by other media.":
"Its results show that bloggers are generally following another agenda, whether that of a political party or another medium, but also highlights the extent to which they can now influence the mainstream media on certain topics. "Sometimes blogs lead and can be very influential and other times they're followers," he says.

"... Rathergate showed that when bloggers were able to access primary evidence in the same way as newspaper journalists, they could run with a story."
Writer Owen Gibson comments that in the UK, "With the odd exception (Guido Fawkes' Order-Order.com and Mick Fealty's Slugger O'Toole blog on Northern Ireland for example), there is little heavyweight comment and it is rare to see a blog break a story or substantially move it on" - this being attributed to the "more rambunctious nature" of the UK press, although Neil McIntosh, the assistant editor of Guardian Unlimited,
"says that a breakthrough Rathergate moment is inevitable sooner or later. "You'd be daft to say never. All that it takes is someone to see that a properly produced Private Eye-style blog would work brilliantly on the web. You'll get something like that in Britain." Cornfield also points to evidence of bloggers mobilising the "No" vote in the French referendum on the EU constitution as proof that it just takes the right kind of issue to spark interest."

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