29 October 2009

Blogs vs. MSM

The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism provides some interesting data on the focus of attention on blogs and the mainstream media. The graph to the right shows the top issues for the week October 19 to 23. "global warming" is a top topic on the blogs, along with the "balloon boy" and a "cross dressing ban." Meanwhile the traditional media is focused on the economy, Afghanistan and health care.

There are of course plenty of ways to interpret this information, and my first reaction is that if your topic is sandwiched between the balloon boy and cross dressing, and nowhere to be seen in the MSM, then you've probably got a PR problem on your hands.


  1. The dividing point between blogs and MSM is not so much the issues they focus on. It's the quality of the information provided. You can spend all day reading countless stories in the MSM on health care, the economy or war, and be less informed than when you started.

    The MSM provides negative value to the information it dispenses.

  2. Apples and oranges. They track "millions of blogs." So all those housewives who blog about their kids and post family photos link to balloon boy for the "isn't this wacky" content, and they count equally to Roger Pielke Jr.'s Blog.

    If you're going to compare the mainstream media to blogs, I think it's elementary that you need to focus on the blogs that actually intended to cover topics in the same way.