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Study Shows Journalists’ Stories Go Deeper & Broader Than Bloggers


As blogging has gained popularity and the people behind the blogs are getting more and more well-known, it seems that the line between professional journalists and bloggers has been blurred a little. Would you agree?

While some bloggers consider themselves a journalist, that idea definitely makes some journalists cringe a little.

That’s why this new study conducted by Penn State researchers about bloggers and journalists caught my attention.

The study compared the way journalists and popular bloggers covered Rush Limbaugh’s involvement in a partnership where they attempted to buy a professional football team. They found that the journalists’ coverage went deeper and broader than the bloggers and that they were more likely to include race and business issues in the article. The journalists included Limbaugh’s past comments on race and also discussed the economics of professional football and the politics of team owners.

Marie Hardin, associate director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, said “We look at this as something that is encouraging. In the past, sports journalists tended to shy away from the cultural aspects of a story, but now, compared to bloggers, professional journalists seem much more willing to show that there’s more to the story than what’s on the field.”

What were their findings for the reason behind this difference? They say it reflects the advantages professional journalists have over bloggers, which includes better training and more resources. They also said the study shows the importance of getting your information from more than one source.

Do you think bloggers should try going more in depth in their stories and cover different angles, or is that for the world of professional journalism?


  • BlogWorld Expo

    I think you can pick any major news story in any genre and you will find that the blogosphere goes far far deeper than their mainstream media counterparts.

    Take the recent #weinergate scandal. It was bloggers who broke the story, bloggers who advanced the story, bloggers who vetted and interviewed all of the principals in the scandal and bloggers who analyzed it from every possible angle.

    The MSM may have what they define to be “broader coverage” in a single news article, but bloggers advance the story over multiple posts, and over multiple sites.

    watch any big story on your local news, then read your local newspaper’s coverage, then the national news coverage. You will hear almost the exact same story over and over and over again.

    Bloggers are just as guilty of this with the echo chamber but bloggers have the freedom, and initiative to pursue any number of angles that MSM journalists usually do not.

  • Julie Bonner

    Those are really good points Rick. I think the freedom bloggers have allow us to go as deep (and opinionated) as we want. Journalists are so limited and news sources get accused of favoring one side of the issue, etc.

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