Are people really reading political 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).
These are some of the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,302 U.S. adults surveyed online between January 15 and 22, 2008 by Harris Interactive.
While it could be said that blogs are just a younger personâ€™s folly, in our study this is not the case. 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.
One of the criticisms about blogs is their accuracy. Since anyone can write a blog or comment on one, there is no sense of fact checking. Well, only 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).
Originally posted on March 10, 2008 @ 10:09 am