Tag Archives: blogging

Majority of bloggers call themselves journalists

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

On his Journalistics blog, Jeremy Porter assessed a recent PRWeek/PR Newswire survey on blogging and online journalism. Attitudes in both arenas are shifting fast, and this year’s results are markedly different than 2009’s. The highlight is that 52 percent of bloggers now consider themselves journalists. It’s not clear whether that’s because more traditional journalists have blogs or because bloggers are wielding more influence and becoming more established.

Porter tried to tease out what made the two identities different.

… 91 percent of bloggers use blogs and social networks “always” or “sometimes” for research (compared to 35 percent for newspapers). Put differently, most blogs rely on other bloggers — and anybody they find on social networks — as sources. This is part of the reason accurate and misinformation spreads quickly online — many bloggers copy each other.

Talking specifics, the study found that 64 percent of bloggers and 36 percent of online reporters use Twitter as a research tool for stories, but only 19 percent of newspaper reporters and 17 percent of print magazine reporters use this social medium as a research. Does this signal a lack of sophistication and comfort with social media among traditional journalists, or do they know something bloggers don’t, like the best sources aren’t found in a sea of tweets? It’s probably a mixture of both.

And here’s a quick summary of the more interesting survey results. Sentences have been edited for brevity and coherence, but most of it is taken directly from the press release.

  • Over 70% of respondents in this year’s survey indicate a heavier workload as compared to last.
  • 62% are required to write for online news sections, with 39% contributing to their publication’s blog.
  • 37% of U.S. journalists also now must maintain a Twitter feed.
  • 31% of respondents indicated that “staff cuts/layoffs” most affected their jobs over the past three years,significantly higher than 2009 (22%).
  • When asked if building a personal brand was a consideration in their work, the majority of U.S. (52%) media (60%) responded either “extremely important” or “important.”
  • Only 20% of bloggers derive the majority of their income from their blog work; a 4% increase from 2009.
  • While 91% of bloggers and 68% of online reporters “always” or “sometimes” use blogs for research, only 35% of newspaper and 38% of print magazine journalists suggested the same.
  • Overall, 33% of respondents indicated using social networks for research, but blogger usage (48%) was greater than newspaper (31%) and print magazine (27%).
  • PR professionals still consider e-mail to be the most effective means for pitching journalists (74%), 43% of journalists report having being pitched through social networks compared to 31% in 2009.

Columnist blogs about her breast cancer

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

NJ.com columnist Kathleen O’Brien has been blogging her breast cancer treatment experience from the beginning.

O’Brien’s posts address a mixture of big-picture issues (like avoiding a negative perspective and whether or not to participate in a clinical trial) and illuminating little anecdotes that show the subtle changes in daily life that accompany a cancer diagnosis and impending treatment (like saying goodbye to the hairdresser she won’t need now that she’s going to start chemotherapy). Her writing helps the reader gain a better understanding of the emotional and physical roller coaster upon which cancer patients are trapped.

Trib’s Triage blog ends, Graham goes investigative

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Triage blog has closed its doors and Judy Graham – the face of the blog for the past year – has moved on to the paper’s investigative and watchdog team.

Graham will still find time twice a month to write the sort of stories Triage writers have come to know; fans will be able to find them in the pages of the Chicago Tribune‘s Sunday section and in other Tribune papers.

Plain Dealer adds ‘price compare’ feature

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Sarah Jane Tribble recently announced a new feature for the paper’s health and fitness blog. Every week, Plain Dealer reporters will comparison shop for a medical treatment, then post a selection of area prices on the blog. Pricewatch

Tribble said she hopes to empower consumers by showing them just how much prices can vary and enabling them to make more informed health care spending decisions. She invites suggestions from readers and will post prices based cash payments, without assistance from insurance. Tribble will find the prices in public databases, or by calling or visiting area medical providers.

Nature survey: Scientists gain influence with blogs

As newspapers shrink, fold or migrate entirely to the Internet, what will happen to science journalism? Like other topics, coverage is becoming fractured and the likelihood that the public will find meaningful and important stories as readily as before is uncertain, at best, according to an interesting

A survey by the publication of 493 science journalists shows that jobs are being lost and the workloads of those who remain are on the rise – 18.5 percent reported their workloads have increased dramatically. At the same time, researcher-run blogs and Web sites are growing in both number and readership. Moreover, traditional journalists are increasingly looking to these sites to find story ideas, although there’s also an increasing reliance on press releases and public relations machines.

“Whether directly or indirectly, scientists and the institutions at which they work are having more influence than ever over what the public reads about their work,” according to the Nature story. That’s because press releases and blogs, typically, can’t reach the same widespread audiences as mainstream media. However, some bloggers are gaining a wider audience. One example is Derek Lowe, a Vertex Pharmaceuticals scientist who writes the “In the Pipeline” blog and columns for The Atlantic.

piece in the latest issue of Nature.

” … unlike books and lectures, science blogs operate with a quick turnaround that more closely resembles that of the traditional media.”

Whether such sites can compensate, at least in part, for the upheaval appears unlikely, according to one traditional journalist. Peter Dykstra, who was executive producer of CNN’s science, technology, environment and weather unit before it was closed down last year, and is now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, worries that the flow of information is forever changed. Science and environment news, he tells Nature, will be “ghettoized and available only to those who choose to seek it out.”

In a related editorial, Nature urges scientists to change old attitudes and “recognize the contributions of bloggers and others, and they should encourage any and all experiments that could help science better penetrate the news cycle.”


Live updates from health blogging summit

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Consumer Reports is hosting a “health blogger summit” at its headquarters today. According to Jeremiah at Z Recommends:

“Their (Consumers Union’s) idea is to get bloggers, reporters, and the folks at Consumer Reports together to discuss how we can share information with consumers to empower them in making choices for their health.”

Although AHCJ wasn’t invited to the event, we’ve been closely following the discussion on Twitter. Several of the participants have been kind enough to post updates on the conversation. Looks like there was a great deal of talk about rankings of doctors and hospitals, as well as how to deal with comments on blogs.

See the discussion in progress and then come back here and tell us what you think.