At the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Seth Meyers poked fun at the notion that bloggers take stories from traditional news media sources. He was giving the audience a mock rundown of the after-parties when he hit on something that research has confirmed.
Meyers joked, “The New York Times party used to be free, but tonight there’s a cover, so like everyone else I’ll probably just go to the Huffington Post party. And the Huffington Post party is asking people to go to other parties first and just steal food and drinks and bring it from there.”
The truth in Meyers’ joke is that blogs do tend to use stories from other traditional media outlets, like The New York Times. And the newspaper used most, according to a study published recently in Newspaper Research Journal is The Washington Post.
Marcus Messner, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Bruce Garrison, a professor at the University of Miami, studied the relationship between political bloggers and elite traditional news media and found both bloggers and elite media rely on each other to some degree rather than on original reporting. While traditional news media are the dominant sources for bloggers, blogs compete with many other sources in shaping traditional news media agendas.
The top-ten rankings for most cited media by blogs in the findings included:
- 1. The Washington Post
- 2. CNN
- 3. NBC News
- 4. The New York Times
- 5. ABC News
- 6. Fox News
- 7. Los Angeles Times
- 8. USA Today
- 9. CBS News
- 10. Christian Science Monitor
The findings are limited to the popular blogs used in the study. The liberal filter blogs were DailyKos, Talking Points Memo, Eschanton, Crooks and Liars, and Think Progress. The conservative filter blogs were Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Little Green Footballs, Powerline, and Quarters.
The study was published in the summer 2011 issue of Newspaper Research Journal.
- Download “Study Shows Some Blogs Affect Traditional News Media Agendas” by Marcus Messner and Bruce Garrison