New study finds reading blogs doesn’t make journalists stupid

In fact, there’s evidence, at least among journalists that blog, that journalists are getting story ideas and spotting trends from “that one.”

That is among the more interesting data that is beginning to come out of Paul Bradshaw’s analysis of his summer survey of blogging journalists:

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.

Bradshaw, a senior lecturer in Online Journalism and Magazines at University of Central England in Birmingham Birmingham City University’s (UK) School of Media and a freelance journalist,  did an online survey back in the summer that attracted responses from 200 blogging journalists from 30 countries, the bulk from North America. The results are being posted in a series of seven detailed blog posts.

Another trend he spotted:

At the same time there is a framing of blogging and the blogosphere in old media terms. For many respondents, the most important change brought by blogs was an increased need for speed.
Spotting trends early, or following the “chatter”, were also
identified, suggesting that the ‘herd instinct’ of mainstream media

I don’t think we’re completely beyond the “bloggers vs journalists” debate based on my own anecdotal experience, but Bradshaw’s charts do show significant positive movement. And the audience is moving even faster than journalists to accepting bloggers as reliable information sources or the new lodes of social currency.