The following is a piece I wrote for The Times of India, Bangalore, dated July 22, 2006:
Bloggers are referred to as "citizen journalists", as different from "professional journalists". But a survey in the US has found that only 34% of them consider their activity as journalism and 65% said it is not journalism.
At the same time, a majority of bloggers engage in practices generally associated with professional journalism, like giving credits, quotes, checking facts, etc, says a survey conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project, a Washington-based non-profit research centre studying the social effects of internet on Americans.
Fifty-seven per cent bloggers give credits in the form of links to original sources and 56% spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post. Forty per cent quote other people or media directly in their posts, while 20% of bloggers said they seek permission before posting copyrighted material on their blog.
Thirty-eight percent also posted corrections in their blogs. This was more prevalent in bloggers over 30 years and with college degree, the Pew study showed.
Most bloggers are also keen followers of current events, and also use blogs as a source of information. Ninety-five percent of bloggers said they get news from the internet, compared to 73% of all internet users. Bloggers were also found to be more dependent on technology for social interaction.
"My life and experiences" was the most preferred topic (37%) for blogging, 11% cited issues of public life like politics and government, 7% picked entertainment related issues, 6% sports and 5% news.
Twelve million American adults, or 8% or internet users, kept a blog. While 54% were under 30 years of age, 55% used a pseudonym and 84% described the activity as a "hobby" or "something I do, but not something I spend lot of time on". While 59% of bloggers just one or two hours per week on their blogs, while 25% spend 3 to 9 hours.
While 70% said they blogged only when they felt like, 22% did it on a regular basis.
Access the full report here