A pair of professors from the University of Missouri School of Journalism have done a surprisingly sympathetic study of the blogging enterprise.
“This textual analysis of 282 items of media criticism appearing on highly trafficked blogs reveals an emphasis on traditional journalistic norms, suggesting a stable field,” Tim P. Vos, Stehpanie Craft and Seth Ashley wrote in a paper which appeared last year. “Occasional criticisms of the practicability of traditional norms and calls for greater transparency, however, may suggest an emerging paradigm shift.”
Vos and Craft teach at the J-School at UMo. Ashley teaches at Boise State. “The number of venues devoted to media criticism has grown rapidly since the late 1990s, and reports on external threats to journalism are common,” they note. “But little is known about whether and how journalists look inward to examine concerns arising from commercial pressure, organizational pressure and reporting conventions.”
Accuracy in Media has never found such introspection in the media. “Our analysis of the media criticism offered by these blogs reveals, in short, that most, but not all, of the discourse – whether brief or elaborate – resonates with traditional media criticism based on traditional assumptions about normative standards, roles, and practices” the authors note.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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