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Stevens

  1. 1. Bloggergate: How the CBS National Guard Story Affected Coverage of Webloggers J. Richard Stevens, Ph.D. International Symposium on Online Journalism April 9, 2005
  2. 2. Walter Lippmann, 1920 • “The news of the day as it reaches the newspaper office is an incredible medley of fact, propaganda, rumor suspicion, clues, hopes, and fears, and the task of selecting and ordering that news is one of the truly sacred and priestly offices in a democracy.”
  3. 3. Where do Weblogs fit in? • Are they amateur participants in the “priestly duties” of journalism? • Do they empower the critical debates that form our democracy or do they drown them out in the noise of spectacle? • CBS Bush National Guard Story
  4. 4. Purpose • How does the “MSM” respond to “blogswarms”? • Analyze short-term impact of the blogswarm surrounding the CBS story on New York Times reportage of blogs.
  5. 5. Research Questions 1. What effect did the CBS guard story controversy have on the frequency of New York Times stories mentioning Weblogging and bloggers? 2. Did the CBS controversy lead the New York Times to increase the number of stories about specific blogs or bloggers? 3. Were New York Times stories more or less likely to define blogs or blogging terminology in stories after the controversy than before the controversy?
  6. 6. Research Questions 4. Did the CBS controversy lead the New York Times to increase their use of blogs as sources in their stories? 5. Did the CBS controversy cause the New York Times to publish more blog addresses in their stories? 6. Did the CBS controversy cause the New York Times to frame Weblogs as in conflict with traditional journalism?
  7. 7. Method • Collected NYTimes stories containing blog terminology from June 6, 2004 to December 1, 2004. • Terms = “blog,” “Weblog,” “Web log” and “blogger” • 168 stories • Content Analysis - counting attributes and frames • Intercoder reliability= .9617
  8. 8. Effect of blogswarm on frequency of blog stories • 54% increase in the number of stories mentioning blog terminology • 45% increase in the stories profiling particular blogs • 45% increase in the citation of blogs a source in a story • 35% increase in the number of stories containing blog URLs • 50% increase in the number of stories containing the conflict frame.
  9. 9. Chart #1: Sample comparison 66 22 2 24 14 6 0 102 32 1 35 19 9 6 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 # stories About Blogs Definiton CiteBlogs Addresses Conflict CBS Variables # of stories Pre 9/8 Post 9/8
  10. 10. Chart #2: Number of Blog Stories 4 4 4 7 7 8 4 4 8 8 3 5 6 8 8 10 4 7 10 18 10 9 5 7 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 6/16-6/226/23-6/296/30-7/67/7-7/137/14-7/207/21-7/277/28-8/38/4-8/108/11-8/178/18-8/248/25-8/31 9/1-9/79/9-9/159/16-9/229/23-9/299/30-10/610/7-10/1310/14-10/2010/21-10/2710/28-11/311/4-11/1011/11-11/1711/18-11/2411/25-12/1 Week # of stories
  11. 11. Chart #3: Stories About Blogs 0 2 2 2 2 1 3 0 5 2 1 2 2 4 3 3 0 1 3 10 2 6 3 2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 6/16-6/226/23-6/296/30-7/67/7-7/137/14-7/207/21-7/277/28-8/38/4-8/108/11-8/178/18-8/248/25-8/31 9/1-9/79/9-9/159/16-9/229/23-9/299/30-10/610/7-10/1310/14-10/2010/21-10/2710/28-11/311/4-11/1011/11-11/1711/18-11/2411/25-12/1 Week # of Stories
  12. 12. Chart #4: Stories that Cite Blogs as Sources 0 0 1 1 1 2 2 3 5 4 3 2 3 3 5 3 1 2 6 8 5 5 5 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 6/16-6/226/23-6/296/30-7/67/7-7/137/14-7/207/21-7/277/28-8/38/4-8/108/11-8/178/18-8/248/25-8/31 9/1-9/79/9-9/159/16-9/229/23-9/299/30-10/610/7-10/1310/14-10/2010/21-10/2710/28-11/311/4-11/1011/11-11/1711/18-11/2411/25-12/1 Week # of Stories
  13. 13. Chart #6: Stories That Cite Blogs/Addresses 0 0 1 1 1 2 2 3 5 4 3 2 3 3 5 3 1 2 6 8 5 5 5 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 4 4 1 0 0 0 3 1 0 1 3 10 0 2 2 3 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 6/16-6/226/23-6/296/30-7/67/7-7/137/14-7/207/21-7/277/28-8/38/4-8/108/11-8/178/18-8/248/25-8/31 9/1-9/79/9-9/159/16-9/229/23-9/299/30-10/610/7-10/1310/14-10/2010/21-10/2710/28-11/311/4-11/1011/11-11/1711/18-11/2411/25-12/1 Week # of Stories CiteBlogs Addresses
  14. 14. Chart #7: Conflict Frames 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 4 2 0 1 0 0 3 1 1 1 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 6/16-6/226/23-6/296/30-7/67/7-7/137/14-7/207/21-7/277/28-8/38/4-8/108/11-8/178/18-8/248/25-8/31 9/1-9/79/9-9/159/16-9/229/23-9/299/30-10/610/7-10/1310/14-10/2010/21-10/2710/28-11/311/4-11/1011/11-11/1711/18-11/2411/25-12/1 Week # of Stories
  15. 15. Chart #8: Number of Stories with Conflict Frames/CBS References 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 4 2 0 1 0 0 3 1 1 1 0 3 3 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 6/16-6/226/23-6/296/30-7/67/7-7/137/14-7/207/21-7/277/28-8/38/4-8/108/11-8/178/18-8/248/25-8/31 9/1-9/79/9-9/159/16-9/229/23-9/299/30-10/610/7-10/1310/14-10/2010/21-10/2710/28-11/311/4-11/1011/11-11/1711/18-11/2411/25-12/1 Week # of Stories Conflict CBS
  16. 16. Thoughts and Conclusions • Relationship developing more gradually • Blogs not as powerful as they like to claim • Benchmarks for other events

Editor's Notes

  • s
  • Walter Lippmann “Liberty and the News”
  • But how have things changed? Technological Revolution. Introduction of Web And Weblogging.
    But how has the traditional media establishment treated Weblogs?
    Some say amateur journalists, participants in the knowledge distribution necessary for the function of democracy.
    Others belittle bloggers as overactive busybodies who detract and distract.
    Never was this question more salient than during the scandal surrounding the CBS coverage of President Bush’s military service.
    This study is an inquiry into the effects of that controversy on the professional media relationship with the blogging community.
  • Why NYT? It and CBS were specific targets of blogging community.
  • 128 stories containing the term “blog,” 59 stories containing the term “blogger,” 57 stories containing the term “Web log” and 18 stories containing the term “Weblog.” The total number of stories initially collected was 263.
    The sample was then sifted to remove the non-editorial pieces from it. Letters to the editor, staff lists, story budget lists, lists of contributors and news digests were all removed from the analysis sample. Finally, the overlapping duplicate articles were removed, resulting in the sample of 168 stories.
  • First glance, aggregate.
  • Visual display of data
    Terminology question (#3) irrelevant
    However …
  • Weekly comparison shows election much greater factor, not blogswarm
  • Blogs profiled around election, not because of swarm
  • Same
  • Addresses and profiles show correlation
  • At first glance, more conflict. But …
  • Correlates to CBS reportage
  • Also, terminology. “Web log, Weblog, blog, blogger” also “Weblogging, Weblogger, blogging”
  • ×