Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For Science Info, the Blogosphere Rules

Here's quite a surprise: Guess what subject gets nearly 10 times more attention from the blogosphere than from the mainstream media. Besides celebrity gossip and snarky politics, that is.

The answer: science and technology.

Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism analyzed the differences in subject matter between blogs and the traditional press. In general, the differences weren't great. But the blogs - often dismissed as nothing but trivia and naval-gazing - actually cover science and technology much more thoroughly than the MSM.

Throughout 2009, PEJ found that the traditional press gave science only about 1% of its overall news coverage, even including such major issues as stem cell research and NASA. It gave another paltry 1% to technology, primarily internet security.

In the same period of time, though, "18% of the most linked-to stories on blogs in a given week were about science and technology news" - roughly 10% about science and another 8% about technology, including coverage of new breakthroughs like the Kindle and interviews with heads of high-tech companies.

For everyone trying to communicate technical subjects, the lesson is clear: the odds are better with the blogosphere than with traditional media.

- Potomac Communications Group

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