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!