Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 31, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

BLOGS AND JOURNALISM....Magazine articles about blogs are hot these days. Rachel Smolkin of the American Journalism Review weighs in with the latest addition to the genre today, naturally focusing on the intersection of blogs with mainstream journalism.

So do reporters read blogs? Here's a typical sampling:

"I must confess I don't track a whole lot of them," says Washington Post national political reporter Jim VandeHei....Ron Brownstein, a Los Angeles Times national political correspondent and CNN political analyst, reads campaign blogs, but that's about it....New York Times national political reporter Adam Nagourney...does keep on eye on The New Republic's campaign blog and sometimes looks at Talking Points Memo or InstaPundit, but not regularly.

This claim I don't read very many blogs, really I don't is apparently common, even among many bloggers. A reporter working on a blog article talked to me last week and asked how many blogs I read. I told him there were 30-40 that I read daily and probably another 30-40 that I read less frequently. He was surprised: the other bloggers he had talked to had all virtuously claimed to read only two or three blogs a day.

My blog reading habits may be extreme, but I have a funny feeling that mainstream reporters (and apparently some bloggers too) tell little white lies when asked how many blogs they read. After all, it only takes a couple of minutes to read the latest posts on a blog, less if you're skimming via an RSS feed. My guess is that many national political reporters read more blogs than they're fessing up to not one of them admits to reading Atrios, for example but are embarrassed to admit it, sort of like a serious novelist not wanting to confess that he likes reality TV shows.

So add this to the great lies of our time: how many blogs do you read? Only two or three? Sure, sure.....

UPDATE: Dan Drezner has some survey data related to this. It's obviously not definitive since it's a self-selecting poll, but it does seem to indicate that media professionals may be reading more blogs than they admit to in public.

Kevin Drum 2:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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