21 July 2008

Citizen Blogs Form Growing Trend

A significant number of online newspapers now host blogs penned by users, according to a new report.

The study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) finds that some 40% of daily newspaper editors in the US say their titles allow readers to create and maintain their own blogs.

In addition, The Changing Newsroom report reveals the attitudes of editors towards the integration of user-generated content (UGC).

Via surveys and face-to-face interviews, the report states that the majority of editors share a “cautious agreement” that UGC has an interesting but “limited role” in journalism.

And there also seems to be a general consensus that the simplest and most effective forms of UGC are the weather-related photographs submitted by users.

The study notes that these pictures “require little expertise, attract broad interest, their content is easily verifiable and they tend to be non-controversial.

“Weather photos also seem to generate a timely and strong citizen response.”

The report currently features on the PEJ website and is divided into sections including The Influence of the Web, Citizen in the Newsroom and Changing Content.

Meanwhile, a useful overview of the study’s main points can be found on the Editor & Publisher site.

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