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Publics distrust of media opens door for bloggers

Although more than 60 percent of U.S. adults say they “prefer news stories produced by professional journalists,” and more than 70 percent agree that “professional journalists play an important role in our society,” most of the public is unsatisfied with how those professionals are doing their jobs. Only about 37 percent of Americans trust the mainstream media.

This from Jeff Sonderman (@jeffsonderman), Digital Media Fellow at The Poynter Institute, sharing new survey data from the Reynolds Journalism Institute in his article, “Public prefers news from professional journalists.”

What does this mean for bloggers? Some bloggers are professional journalists, so on many cases, the lines have grayed.

But in the case of lawyers and other professionals blogging, the almost 40% of Americans who do not necessarily prefer news from professional journalists and the over 60% who do not trust journalists provides a golden opportunity.

With the public’s trust in mainstream media fading, now is the time for bloggers to create a name for themselves. Blogging is a form of journalism offering information, insight, and commentary.

There is no reason bloggers can’t be just as credible or even more so when it comes to reporting.  As printed newspapers begin to downsize and move online, they are often even using bloggers to supplement their content.

Blogs, often criticized for being unreliable,  can actually be more accurate than traditional journalists. This is because legitimate experts in their field, as opposed to journalists, are writing them.

Blogs are much more interactive than traditional news stories. They allow for embedded links, connecting them to the source and other related stories.

Blogging gives readers options. When they want an in-depth analysis on a certain topic from real experts, blogs are their best bet. Though blogs may have some bias, this doesn’t alter the facts of a story. Bloggers analyze a situation to help educate the readers.

For instance, Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm with a practice devoted to representing victims of foodborne, illness uses their publication, Food Safety News, as a daily Web-based newspaper dedicated to reporting on issues surrounding food safety. As they state in their ‘About Us’ section of the site, they have filled a void in our food safety system.

 Although excellent food safety reporting continues across the country, more reporting and commentary is needed.  We are confident that food safety community leaders will contribute to the site and that a strong and growing audience of Internet users interested in food safety will utilize all of the information we have presented here.

Law blogs provide a unique and powerful view that readers aren’t able to get from traditional media organizations. Instead of listing off fact after fact and he-said-she-said stories, blogs offer insight from lawyers with deep subject matter expertise.

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