This Just In: There's Nearly No Sports Coverage In the Real Estate Section

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Media researchers make a stunning discovery:

Included in the Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual State of the News Media study was a look at seven of the most prominent and influential current-events blogs operating today. The study tracked the blogs' content on May 11, a day chosen at random.

The result: The sites offered illuminating commentary, vigorous debate and intelligent criticism on the day's news. But as for the actual reporting of the news, the sites relied almost exclusively on traditional media outlets—newspapers, TV and radio reports and wire services….

[T]he study should throw some cold water on those few who are still under the illusion that blogs are on the verge of assuming their rightful place at the top of the journalism pecking order.

The seven blogs in question were Instapundit, Little Green Footballs, Power Line, Talking Points Memo, Eschaton, Daily Kos, and Crooks and Liars. Which raises the question: Why go through the pretense of a "study"? If you pick seven blogs that specialize in commentary and rarely if ever do original reporting, you shouldn't be surprised to find a lot of commentary and very little reporting. I guess there's no need to look at all those sites that offer frontlines dispatches from Iraq, detailed coverage of court hearings, photos from demonstrations or disasters or crime scenes, or first-hand accounts of newsworthy (or not-so-newsworthy) events. After all, they aren't "the most prominent and influential current-events blogs operating today."

In other news, our team at the Jesse Walker Institute for Poorly Conceived Research has read a day's worth of op-eds by David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Thomas Sowell, Ellen Goodman, Anna Quindlen, Peggy Noonan, and George Will. Our conclusion: Newspapers never do any reporting either!

NEXT: Who Called Bush an "alcoholic Mr. Danger"?

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  1. Is there anything more boring or a greater waste of time than the bloviating on the blog v. MSM “debacle?”

  2. “Is there anything more boring or a greater waste of time than the bloviating on the blog v. MSM ‘debacle?'”

    Taking the time to write a comment in response to a blog post bloviating on the blog v. MSM “debacle”?

  3. As a consumer of blogs and MSM, I kinda feel like this whole spat is an entirely insider affair that means about nothing to me. It is as though the old newspapers went to the front page with radical stories about changing fonts or cheaper paper to print on.

  4. Offhand, DefenseTech and ArmsControlWonk both link to MSM stories and also do original reporting. ACW has been known to sift through DoD press releases, find the original Chinese documents they cite, and have them retranslated. DefenseTech had correspondents in Iraq and one was was recently thrown out for his reporting on IEDs, not long before Bush declared the LA Times “irresponsible” on the same issue. In neither case was the charge ever substantiated.

    I think the “MSM” misrepresents what it does on a daily basis. They like to believe that every piece they print is a thoughtful, original, investigative report, but a quick glance through the A section reveals that most often they are regurgitating what official spokesmen say or citing another newspaper for the basis of their story. They rarely ask really illuminating questions at the press conferences…would having a note-taker present at these events really make a website more respectable?

    The web reporters will often contrast news stories (and other blogs) side-by-side to show the complexity of the argument. This is a valuable function in comparison to the MSM’s pompous claims of “objective truth.”

  5. “In other news, our team at the Jesse Walker Institute for Poorly Conceived Research has read a day’s worth of op-eds by David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Thomas Sowell, Ellen Goodman, Anna Quindlen, Peggy Noonan, and George Will.”

    Jesse, you didn’t REALLY read that shit, did you?

  6. No, but my team at the institute extrapolated from past trends.

  7. The result: The sites offered illuminating commentary, vigorous debate and intelligent criticism on the day’s news. But as for the actual reporting of the news, the sites relied almost exclusively on traditional media outlets – newspapers, TV and radio reports and wire services….

    Yeah. And look through any MSM publication and see how many of their articles and editorials come from a wire service or syndicate. Then calculate how many articles are copied from a PR flack’s press release. And how many times the medium dips into the “expert” well.

    Pot v. kettle here?

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