Blog sources have no name

At this year’s AEJMC conference in Denver, Bruce Garrison from the University of Miami and I presented a research paper (“Sources without a name”) that tracked the source relationship between traditional news media and blogs. In the study, we applied the concepts of intermedia agenda setting and agenda building to explore the source interaction between 10 elite traditional news media and 10 political filter blogs during a two-month election period. We analyzed 2102 blog references and 4794 traditional news media sources and found that while traditional news media frequently cite blogs in their coverage, the source attributions to the blogs are rather vague.

Blogs on the other hand heavily cite traditional news media, but the analysis also revealed that conservative blogs cite elite traditional news media less than liberal blogs. Conservative blogs relied more on conservative media outlets in their election coverage. We believe that the findings raise questions about changes in the standard journalistic research and attribution procedures as both media formats often rely on each other as sources rather than on original reporting.

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