Washington, April 9 (ANI): Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that despite financial troubles and cutbacks, traditional media Web sites are more comprehensive and technologically advanced than citizen media and bloggers.
“We found that legacy sites offered almost double the percent of news (89 percent) in comparison with citizen news sites (56 percent) and three times that of blogs (27 percent),” said Margaret Duffy, faculty chair in strategic communication in the Journalism School.
“The topic coverage on blogs and citizen new sites is generally narrow and the sourcing is light,” Duffy added.
Working in collaboration with researchers from Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina, Duffy and colleague Esther Thorson analysed citizen news sites in 47 towns and cities across the US.
The researchers found an average of fewer than two citizen news sites per city.
According to them, Two-thirds of the sites were blogs, and the other sites contained news content.
“One of the biggest surprises we found was that mainstream media Web sites were almost as welcoming to citizen participation as citizen journalism sites, and they were far more welcoming than blogs. Many industry professionals hope that citizen sites will democratise news media, but that hope has yet to be realized,” Thorson said.
The second phase of the study showed that many of the citizen sites and blogs examined in the first phase had become dormant or disappeared.
Even though some citizen sites and bloggers were found to be doing well, many were struggling to survive and support their efforts, said Duffy.
The researchers also found that blogs were less likely than citizen news sites to permit posting comments or emailing the site.
They said that the majority of mainstream sites provided rules and policies for contributing stories and photos.
They further revealed that blogs and news sites were more likely than legacy media to post links within stories to outside sources.
However, citizen sites linked to legacy news sites twice as often as legacy sites linked to citizen sites.
Citizen sites were also found to use legacy sites as news sources.
The study was recently published in the State of the Media 2009 report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. (ANI)