What Draws Readers to ‘News’ Blogs? Empowering Citizens to Join the Debate

By Sarah Pedersen and Alastair Chivers.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Appearing at the end of the 1990s, the phenomenon of ‘blogging’ or weblogging is beginning to attract serious academic research. However, the majority of this research has so far focussed on the ‘bloggers’ themselves – who they are; what they do and what their motivations are. Little research has yet been undertaken on the readers – or users – of blogs. This paper reports on the results of research undertaken in the spring of 2006 that investigated the users of journalistic or ‘news’ blogs. Surveying nearly 300 readers of ‘news’ blogs, the study focused on discovering why respondents read blogs, how many they read and how frequently; whether they interacted with the blogger by posting comments; and whether they used news blogs as a substitute for or an addition to more mainstream news media. In particular, this paper focuses on the dissatisfaction with the mainstream media and central government felt by many blog-readers and their use of blogs to learn about areas not covered by the mainstream media. However, the majority of respondents used both blogs and mainstream media to deliver their news and considered that this was a necessary and complementary relationship.

Keywords: Blogs, Computer-mediated Communication, Journalism

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.15-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 557.259KB).

Dr. Sarah Pedersen

Lecturer, The Aberdeen Business School, Department of Communication, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK

Dr Sarah Pedersen is course leader of the MSc Publishing Studies and MSc Publishing with Journalism programme at The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. Her research interests focus around the subject of authorship and have included research into women readers’ response to newspapers during the Edwardian period and academic authorship and the internet. She is at present undertaking research into differences and similarities in motivation for blogging between US and UK bloggers. This research is funded by an AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) research leave grant. She is currently Chairperson of the UK Association for Publishing Education (UKAPE).

Alastair Chivers

The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK


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