Do political blogs influence broadsheet newspapers?

SimonGeneral

Fellow blogger and CIPR Diploma student Simon Collister has just completed his diploma dissertation…a moment I look forward to with some anticipation.

He’s looked at how political bloggers in the UK have influenced agenda development in broadsheet newspapers.

In due course Simon’s going to publish the full text of his paper (presumably once it’s been assessed and he’s finished the diploma), but his outline findings make interesting reading.

He notes

..in all the case studies influential, high-traffic blogs – or networks of lower-traffic ones – acted as framing devices around the story, pulling together key information and interpreting/analysing issues. This was reinforced by one journalists who admitted in an interview that he used blogs as sources of “comment” and “insight” for stories..

But this needs to be considered alongside his findings that while there is

theoretical evidence for media agenda-setting by UK political blogs, results from the newsdesk indicate that for the majority, blogs are not a trusted source of news.

So the headline is journalists seem to use blogs as sources but aren’t comfortable with admitting it. But then very few journalists do reveal story sources, so maybe the apparent reluctance to admit blog reading among Simon’s sample reflects on a general reluctance to reveal sources?

Interesting stuff, and worth subscribing to Simon’s feed for when he publishes the full paper.