Your Blog Sucks!

Harris Poll:

For every political persuasion, it seems like there is at least a handful of political blogs which chart attitudes and opinions on campaigns, issues and candidates relevant to that political leaning. One always hears about a blog breaking news before the “mainstream media” actually covers it. But are people really reading these blogs? The answer is no, as over half of Americans (56%) say they never read blogs that discuss politics. Just under one-quarter (23%) say that they read them several times a year and just 22 percent of Americans read blogs regularly (several times a month or more).


Just one in ten (19%) Echo Boomers (those aged 18-31) regularly read a political blog and only 17 percent of Gen Xers (those aged 32-43) say the same. Matures (those aged 63 and older) are actually the generation most likely to be political blog readers as just over one-quarter (26%) say they regularly do so followed by 23 percent of Baby Boomers (those aged 44-62). Also, one hears of the rabid blogs on both sides of the political aisle, but just 22 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats regularly read blogs. Independents are the ones slightly more likely to read these, as just over one-quarter (26%) say they regularly read political blogs.

Looking at those who regularly do read political blogs, over half (54%) read one or two at least once a week with an additional 22 percent reading 3-4 at least once a week. And, while they may read these, they do not comment on them. Over two-thirds (69%) of those who regularly read blogs did not comment on one in the previous week. Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to comment. One-third of Republicans (34%) commented in the previous week compared to 28 percent of Democrats.


[O]nly one in five (22%) regular blog readers say the information they read on blogs is less accurate when compared to the mainstream media while three in ten (30%) say it is more accurate and almost half (48%) say just as accurate. Besides accuracy, there is also a value issue. When compared to the mainstream media, one-third of regular blog readers (33%) say the information they read on blogs is more valuable, half (49%) say just as valuable and just 18 percent say it is less valuable. Republicans are more likely to find value (41%) and accuracy (37%) in the information they read on blogs than Democrats are (25% and 21% respectively).

4 thoughts on “Your Blog Sucks!

  1. If you really want good polls you have to go to Zogby and read one or two polls at least once or twice a week.

  2. “Just one in ten (19%) Echo Boomers (those aged 18-31) regularly read a political blog…”
    That’s classic: in the middle of a dick-waving article about how awesome the powers of the carefully edited mainstream media are, there’s a stupid error. 19% is not “one in ten” in my book. Ahem.
    Anyway, for perspective, let’s compare:
    300 million Americans * 22% = 66 million. If we want to be really honest and only count adult, literate Americans, let’s low-ball it at 200 million * 22% = 44 million.
    And “The O’Reilly Factor”, the top-rated cable news show out there? In January just past, about 2.4 million viewers total. In fact, if you add up all the viewers of all the cable news shows, I really doubt it would come anywhere near 44 million. The article didn’t ask it, so I will: Are people really watching these shows?
    Holden left out their conclusion, which is delightful:
    “With the bruising primary season so far, one would think that political blogs would be a logical place for many Americans to turn to for more information, but this is obviously not the case. Much was made of the power of the blogs in 2004 – for both Republicans and Democrats, and, as the campaign season changes from the primary into the general, this could still be what happens. Or, maybe the novelty of blogs has faded. As the cable news channels all have seen their viewership rise with each passing debate, primary and caucus, maybe political news watchers are leaving the Internet for their political information and going back to television.”
    Notably, this conclusion was completely unsupported by any actual data. Did they ask these people if they also watch cable news shows, and if so, how often? Of course not. Maybe they’ll get around to asking that one during the 2012 election season.

  3. a) what percentages read newspapers, and what are the perceptions of accuracy there?
    b) perceptions aside, are blogs more or less accurate than cable news? which blogs? which cable news?
    i mean, just look at fox news compared to first draft on a single issue – say, iraq.

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