Blogging and Journalism, Cracking the Myth

It is easy to create myths–and can take decades or centuries to destroy them. The link between blogging and journalism is one of them. It is not all that hard to see that there is no direct relationship between keep a blog and the news industry. Nonetheless this is one of the founding myths of the US-American A-list bloggers and their fellow travellers (as they were called in the Cold War 1950s) who mindlessly copy-paste the hegemonic preassumptions. A recent Pew Internet report clearly gives a much more diffuse picture:

– 54% of bloggers say that they have never published their writing or media creations anywhere else; 44% say they have published elsewhere.
– 54% of bloggers are under the age of 30.
– Women and men have statistical parity in the blogosphere, with women representing 46% of bloggers and men 54%.
– 76% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to document their personal experiences and share them with others.
– 64% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to share practical knowledge or skills with others.
When asked to choose one main subject, 37% of bloggers say that the primary topic of their blog is “my life and experiences.”
– Other topics ran distantly behind: 11% of bloggers focus on politics and government; 7% focus on entertainment; 6% focus on sports; 5% focus on general news and current events; 5% focus on business; 4% on technology; 2% on religion, spirituality or faith; and additional smaller groups who focus on a specific hobby, a health problem or illness, or other topics.

The picture is clear. Only a minority of bloggers see any kind of relationship with journalism. Most blogs deal with personal experiences, and do not focus on the news media, even less on politics. It is a vocal minority of US-American A-list bloggers who constantly misrepresent the image of blogging and push blogging into their direction. As a matter of fact, a blog is first of all easy to use software and should be regarded the next generation home page. It is a general platform, serving general purposes. There is no intrinsic relationship between blogging and news, but it’s going to be a long uphill struggle to get this simple message through.