October 2, 2006 10:03 AM PDT

Survey: For big news, consumers bypass blogs

For many Americans seeking news during important events, blogs are just about the last place they look, relying instead on traditional outlets, a survey says.

Fifty percent said they turn to traditional media like television, radio and newspapers as their primary source for information during major events such as hurricanes over "emerging media," according to a survey of 333 business professionals and 1,167 consumers between the ages of 25 and 64. The survey was sponsored by LexisNexis.

The survey characterized "emerging media" as Internet sites by citizen journalists in the form of blogs, podcasts or Internet-only publications. Internet news sites, such as those grown from newspapers or television networks, were grouped with traditional media or broken out into their own category.

When asked for their top three choices for accurate and up-to-the-minute information, 50 percent of people surveyed chose network/local television, 42 percent chose radio, and 37 percent chose newspapers. Just more than a third picked cable news or business networks, and 25 percent said they went to "Internet sites of print and broadcast media." Only 6 percent said they turned to "emerging media" sources.

When asked to choose the top five topics that interested them, consumers were more into pop culture than politics. The most popular topics, chosen by about a third of the consumers surveyed, were popular entertainment (books, movies, music, TV, plays), hobbies, weather and food/cooking/dining. Almost a quarter of the people chose sports. Popular entertainment was chosen five times more than personal finance among the consumers surveyed.

In seeking out information on those kinds of topics, blogs, user groups and chat rooms were the most popular after traditional lifestyle media. Weekly or monthly magazines were next, followed by radio and Internet sites dedicated to a specific topic.

Fifty-two percent of the consumers surveyed said they will probably stick with traditional news sources (including mainstream Internet news sites), while 35 percent said they would rely on both traditional and emerging media. Thirteen percent said they will rely primarily on emerging media for their news in the future.

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9 comments

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Gee, I can't understand why.....DOHH!
Why in the heck is someone going to look for blogs when network news is "Johnny on the spot"?
I might look for differing perspectives in blogs but not for the initial news coverage particularly in the case of an emergency or fast moving news story.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
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comparing apples and oranges
Sure, the same way newspaper readers turn first to the news pages for information on the event rather than the editorial pages. I think we all get it that blogs are where opinions are exchanged and news sites are where reporting happens. The question was worth asking once, but the article should have stressed the obvious difference in content between the formats and the implications for public discourse if any number of people were so confused as to be unable to distinguish them. Looks like the public passed this test, which is itself news...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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It's about TRUST, not about the type of media
If a blog or some other form of new media gains the same level of trust that some of the traditional media have, people will use that. This is not to say that traditional media has anything inherently more trustworthy, it is just that they have had a much longer time to build trust.
Posted by Reader20 (7 comments )
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Going to MSM when big news breaks
If people are choosing the MSM over the blogosphere for big news, then what is the role of the blogosphere? Probably the deep, investigative reporting that the MSM may not have the time to invest in and the collaborative filtering that comes from the commenting, linking, and track-back system.

(More at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://blog.robdolin.com" target="_newWindow">http://blog.robdolin.com</a>)
Posted by RobDolin (5 comments )
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Red pill or Blue pill: Your media, your choice.
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind. (long pause, sighs) Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back.
(In his left hand, Morpheus shows a blue pill.)
Morpheus: You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. (a red pill is shown in his other hand) You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. (Long pause; Neo begins to reach for the red pill) Remember -- all I am offering is the truth, nothing more.

The Red pill is composed of all the blog sites reporting on a single overreaching conspiracy. You have to find it yourself.
Posted by gunplay (18 comments )
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Ask an obvious question...
Get an obvious answer. Lexis-Nexis: Money well spent on that survey.
Posted by gfannick (1 comment )
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Blog can be "military proof" too !
we have witnessed a different story on our blog (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://b-r-ent.com" target="_newWindow">http://b-r-ent.com</a>), managed by the intranet manager community in France called BRENT (for Blog, RSS and ENTerprise).

We have understood that actually Blogs were "military proof" and that a central power could not control them as they can do it with national TV &#38; Radio Broadcasters.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://b-r-ent.com/news/274.shtml" target="_newWindow">http://b-r-ent.com/news/274.shtml</a> (have a look: it's in French but it's easy to translate via our translation module on the homepage of the blog; and if you need it we can translate it directly for you)

Actually, it took a couple of days before the mass media aligned themselves on what was really taking place in Thaïland& as you can tell this phenomenon is changing the value and what is at stake with nanopublishing along with blogs and RSS feeds.

Gil
Posted by Revgi (1 comment )
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Bypassing Blogs?
Some viewers look to blogs for a chance to exchange ideas, occasionally hot-button news issues. Recently, I started a blog. Old fool that I may be, I need new adventures. I have been particularly annoyed with all the sub-standard products that are flooding our chain stores. It is one of the things that drives me crazy. My site is at driveucrazy.com
Hope you can join me there.
This is a learning experience for me, so I hope visitors will be patient.
Posted by joankelsy (1 comment )
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If something big happened, it is easier and faster to look at news sites where reporting happens. The most of the blogs is exchanged opinions, and will probably be uploaded later. If somebody wants to write about a big news story, they will sell it to a big newspaper. But I would read a news blogg if it is from The person in the news.
Posted by s2673284 (1 comment )
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