Poll: Bloggers, Citizen Reporters to Play Key Role in Journalism’s Future

By: E&P Staff

A new We Media/Zogby Interactive poll has found that most Americans think blogging and “citizen journalism” will prove vital to journalism in the future.

The national survey of 5,384 adults found that 55% thought blogging was an important aspect of American journalism in the future, while 74% said they believed amateur “citizen” reporters would play a key role.

When asked about the impact of the Internet on journalism, 53% said that Web-based media provided the most opportunity for the future of journalism. 72% of respondents said they were “dissatisfied” with the quality of journalism in the U.S., but 76% thought that the Internet’s overall effect on the quality of journalism has been positive.

The poll also surveyed 77 members of the media at the recent We Media conference in Miami, finding that 55% of these media insiders were “dissatisfied” with American journalism today, while 61% thought that the media is out of touch with what Americans want from their news. 86% of those media industry insiders polled said that bloggers would be key to the future of journalism.

“We are now seeing mainstream acceptance of what we call the Power of Us — the value, credibility, and vital expression of citizen and collaborative media,” said Dale Peskin, a managing director of iFOCOS, the organization that conducts the annual We Media conference, in a statement. “We’ve arrived at a tipping point. A new definition of democratic media is emerging in our society.”

The nationwide poll also found that dissatifaction with the media is greater among those respondents who characterize themselves as “conservative,” with 88% saying they were unhappy with the state of journalism. A full 95% of those saying they were “very conservative” expressing negative sentiments about the current state of journalism. 51% of liberal respondents said they were dissatisfied with the quality of American journalism.

Other key findings from the nationwide survey:

— 72% of those asked said journalism is important to their community.

— 81% said Web sites are an important source of news, followed by television (78%), radio (73%), newspapers (69%), magazines (38%), and blogs (30%).

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