Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Linking to the Obvious

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Linking to the Obvious

Article excerpt

THE SOURCE: "Online Information Sources of Political Blogs" by Mark Leccese, in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Autumn 2009.

ARE BLOGS THE FUTURE OF journalism? Today, a number of the most popular political blogs have far more readers than prestigious print publications such as The Nation or The New Republic. But though many bloggers fancy themselves cutting-edge journalists, they aren't doing the heavy lifting required by actual reporting, writes Emerson College journalism professor Mark Leccese.

Leccese looked at six top political blogs--three conservative (Michelle Malkin, Instapundit, and Power Line) and three liberal (Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, and Crooks and Liars)--over a one-week period in January 2008, at the beginning of the presidential primary season. Of the 2,087 links that appeared on the front pages of these blogs, nearly half (46.5 percent) directed the reader to mainstream media outlets, such as CNN or MSNBC. The New York Times was far and away the most linked-to source, with nearly nine percent of all links pointing to a page somewhere on its site. …

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