Thursday, August 17th, 2006
Some bloggers like to pat themselves on the back for being ahead of the mainstream media. But how serious is the blogosphere compared to the print media? I though today’s sensational story about JonBenet Ramsey would provide a pretty good test of how serious the bloggers are.
According to Technorati, English language blogs with “a lot of authority” mentioned JonBenet 180 times so far today and Hezbollah about 550 times. This actually was a pleasant surprise to Statastico (who does not have a lot of authority). So I went out to see how the newspapers were covering the same two stories.
For lack of a better idea, I measured the size of the columns that referred to each of the two stories. Unfortunately, the newspaper sample reflects where I bought the newspapers - about 2 blocks from the Capitol Building - so I’m a little light on samples from anywhere but the East Coast.
For the most part the Israel-Lebanon conflict dominated space on the front page relative to JonBenet. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were the only two papers to carry the JonBenet story entirely below the fold. The average newspaper dedicated 3.4 times more column space to Hezbollah than to JonBenet. Serious bloggers wrote 3.05 posts referring to Hezbollah to every post referring to the JonBenet story. Imperfect measures to be sure, but somewhat encouraging.
As to which form of media is setting the conversational agenda, I would still vote for the broadsheets. Especially now that we bloggers are ever-so-aware of the fact that we can get free advertising by showing up in the Washington Post’s Who’s Blogging link to Technorati. I’ll see you there.
Source: Statastic research
Notes: Washington Times measure includes a story about the media and the Lebanon-Israel conflict.