The Status of Journalistic Routines within Reporter-Run Political Blogs

The Status of Journalistic Routines within Reporter-Run Political Blogs

Robert Andrew Dunn (East Tennessee State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijicst.2011070104
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Abstract

The present research explores the relationships between newspaper circulation size (small vs. large), blog post focus (national vs. local/state), and blog post topic (political vs. government) and whether reporters who blog produce posts that break with journalistic routines or include references to the author. Analysis of 960 blog posts from nine newspapers suggests that smaller newspapers were more likely to produce posts that break with journalistic routines and include self-references than larger newspapers. Posts that focused on national news were more likely to break with journalistic routines but were not more likely to include self-references. Posts about political news were more likely to both break with journalistic routines and to include self-references.
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Literature Review

The State of the News Media report for 2008, produced by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, indicates that circulation, advertising, earnings and staff have all declined at newspapers across the nation. Conversely, the number of news and information outlets has increased dramatically. Each year the report is compiled, the percentage of people who say they turn to the Internet for news increases. In 2007, 71% of Americans went online for news. For an industry devoted to the dissemination of news as newspapers are, these figures are noteworthy and demand attention.

Blogs are one of the many outlets for news and information that Web surfers have at their fingertips. To understand blogging, it is necessary to contemplate its meaning. Although there are many views on the subject, Walker (2003) provides a succinct yet encompassing definition.

A weblog, or blog, is a frequently updated website consisting of dated entries arranged in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Typically, weblogs are published by individuals and their style is personal and informal. . . . Examples of the genre exist on a continuum from confessional, online diaries to logs tracking specific topics or activities through links and commentary (para. 4).

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