Saturday, March 12, 2005
Political Bloggers May Influence 1 in 10
The Gallup organization has concluded that blogs are "not yet in the media big leagues." It bases this conclusion on a survey showing that "just 12 percent of Americans [age 18 or older] read political blogs regularly (at least a few times a month)." And only about 6 percent read such blogs at least a few times a week. Why is this good news? Because it shows how much room for growth political blogs have. In this regard, blog readership is significantly higher among those in the 18-29 age group. This group made up 17 percent of the sample but 25 percent of blog readers.
What about the view that blogs aren't in the big leagues yet? That might well be true. However, Gallup rests this view on the fact that so many more people get their news from the local newspaper, the local news show, and, to a lesser extent, other outlets. But blogs are not competing with these outlets as news providers. For the most part, we are competing with opinion journals and op-ed sections. The Gallup piece does not contain information about the extent to which Americans rely on these sources.
The 12% that say they read political blogs at least a few times a month amount to roughly 26 million Americans. That may not make blogs a "dominant" news source, but one American in ten ads up to a lot of influence.
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