A recent survey of U.S. journalists by Brodeur reveals that over 75% of reporters turn to blogs for information when doing research for stories and that “blogs are not only having an impact on the speed and availability of news, but also influence the tone and editorial direction of reporting.”
I find this easy to believe! The news content that social media produces is very different that information a reporter would find by doing old school offline research. Blogs as sources are attractive to journalists because:
* Information is easily and quickly located— All you have to do is a Google search
* Blogs give journalists ideas for interesting story angles–there are many bright and articulate people in the blogosphere who are writing about topics they’re passionate and knowledgeable about.
* Blogs can reflect the opinions of locals within the community–Information found on a blog not only tells the journalist what the blogger thinks or has observed, but it also lets him/her know how the community that reads that blog is responding. When you’re doing research on a topic, sometimes the best and most thought provoking information is in the discussion within the comments. Blogs provide information about opinions from the community through the post and through the reaction of the blog’s community.
* Blog content can provide more human, emotional insight into the facts of surrounding a story–There was a time when journalism was just about presenting the “hard, cold facts”, but those times have passed. Not only do we want the facts, but we want to know how the news is impacting the people who are in the midst of it. It’s the human story part of the news that tends to catch our attention.
It’s really interesting to see how mainstream journalism and new media are intersecting. I have been amazed at how often I am contacted by journalists wanting a quote about virtual entreneurism who have found me through my blog on virtual business. I’ve probably been contacted half a dozen times in the last year, and I know I never would have appeared on any journalist’s radar screen if it were not for my blog.
What about you guys–Have any of you had any personal experience with being a “source” for mainstream journalism?
Source: Conversation Agent