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Monday, February 19, 2007

Majority In Poll Say Bloggers Important To Journalism

A majority of Americans (55%) in an online survey say bloggers are important to the future of American journalism and 74% say citizen journalism will play a vital role, according to a new poll.

Most respondents (53%) also say the rise of free Internet-based media pose the greatest opportunity to the future of professional journalism and three in four (76%) say the Internet has had a positive impact on the overall quality of journalism.

The results are based on a recent We Media -- Zogby Interactive poll.

The We Media survey results were released by iFOCOS and pollster John Zogby as part of an iFOCOS conference on media innovation hosted by theSchool of Communication at the University of Miami, with major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In the national survey of adults, 72% say they were dissatisfied with the quality of American journalism today. A majority of conference-goers who were polled on the subject agreed -- 55% say they were dissatisfied,and 61% say they believed traditional journalism is out of touch with what Americans want from their news.

Nearly nine out of 10 media insiders (86%) say they believe bloggers will play an important part in journalism's future.

"We are now seeing mainstream acceptance of what we call the Power of Us -- the value, credibility, and vital expression of citizen and collaborative media," says Dale Peskin, a managing director of iFOCOS, the organization that conducts the annual We Media conference. "We've arrivedat a tipping point. A new definition of democratic media is emerging in our society."

Peskin says that, until recently, many traditional news enterpriseshave been skeptical about We Media. "They were either fearful or dismissive of our 2003 research forecasting and documenting the change in the media ecosystem," he says. "Now the Zogby poll provides additional evidence that 'We Media' is an essential component -- perhaps the essential component --for the agenda for news and information into the future."

"The research documents the widespread recognition that control and influence on how we know what we know is shifting to a vastly moredistributed network of empowered individuals and organizations," says Andrew Nachison, co- founder of iFOCOS. "This obviously will have a big impact on how media organizations evolve and conduct business, but it's really about how we all discover, create, share and apply information, and that's important to all industries, to entrepreneurs, to non-profits, to governments, to individuals and to society as a whole. We are all part of the ecosystem."

The Zogby Interactive survey of 5,384 adults nationwide was conducted Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.4 percentage points. The Zogby Interactive survey of 77 members of the media who attended the Miami conference carries a margin of error of +/- 11.4 percentage points. While periodic audits show the results from Zogbytelephone and Internet surveys closely track each other, a companion telephone survey of this topic was not conducted.

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