Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Blogs not exactly the "Fifth Estate"
Reuters reports that the Pew Internet & American Life Project has shown that political blogs don't pull as much weight as they've been made out to. In comparing 40 blogs with the Mainstream Media and American presidential campaigns, the Pew study found that each medium gave various amounts of coverage to different topics, concluding that blogs act as more of an accompaniment to traditional media. Michael Cornfield, a senior Pew research consultant said, ""Bloggers follow buzz as much as they make it. Our research uncovered a complicated dynamic in which a hot topic of conversation could originate with the blogs or it could originate with the media or it could originate with the campaigns. We can say that if people still have that idea that the bloggers are the new fifth estate, that the bloggers are the new kingmakers, that's not the case." What Mr. Cornfield says seems to be true, as most political bloggers, lacking the resources to report directly, comment on what is diffused through the traditional press. But their influence having already been felt, it appears that blogs are to be a permanent fixture in the media landscape and that the traditional press will have to continue to adapt.
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