Bloggers on survey findings

by Eszter Hargittai on June 16, 2006

Rob Capriccioso of Inside Higher Ed reports on what Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of Daily Kos and Jessica Coen of Gawker think about college students’ lack of interest in political blogs and Beltway gossip.

While I appreciate that they are happy with students spending their time on things other than politics, their responses ignore the fact that students do follow news, they just don’t do so on political blogs. All of the responses present time spent on these blogs as competition for time spent having fun with friends. However, findings from the survey suggest that students do follow current events (59% look up local or national news daily or weekly; 44% look up international news that frequently) so it’s not as though students only care about sex and beer. Granted, the survey doesn’t ask about the specific type of news they follow, but chances are that some of the material overlaps with topics covered on these blogs.

Additional info in the article includes my response to the inevitable question: “What about porn?”.



jet 06.16.06 at 4:14 pm

You’ve forgotten CT rule #7.

“When mentioning Instapundit you must always include the ubiquitous “Glenn is a right-wing asshat” statement.”

In the spirit of full discolsure, I think Reynolds is the Rox0rz!!!eleventy-eleven!11


John Quiggin 06.16.06 at 6:16 pm

I wonder how the respondents interpreted the term “political blogs”. If you interpret politics as Dems vs Reps, it’s pretty obvious that Kos and Instapundit (who is, as jet reminds us …) are political, but CT, for example, might be regarded more as an academic blog. Not that I get the impression college students are flocking here in thousands, but this is another aspect of the perceptions question.


will u. 06.16.06 at 7:49 pm

Jet: Indeed.

(Rule #8)


Eszter 06.17.06 at 12:25 am

John, the exact wording of the question was as follows: How often do you visit blogs, discussion forums or other sites that allow you to interact with other participants on the following topics?

As you can see, the question was actually broader than just blogs, precisely because I wanted to make sure that even if people don’t realize they are on a political blog per se, they would include their experiences with interactive sites in the response.

And the answer option for politics was actually broader, it stated: politics, economics, law, policy. Even if you don’t think CT is a “political blog” per se, I think you may think it is one of those sites where people discuss the above types of content and thus might indicate that it is the type of interctive Web site you visit.

As is often the case, it’s tricky to ask about certain things in one or two survey questions. I’ve been working on this one for a while and I think it’s close to as good as we can get it for this topic, but I certainly welcome input for changes.

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