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article imageJournalism and the Internet: Friends or Foes?

By Nathalie Caron     Oct 15, 2007 in Internet
A new survey finds that more than half of Americans find the Internet has been beneficial to journalism. However, most are still doubtful when it comes to the reliability of bloggers.
A Rasmussen Reports opinion poll, published this weekend, finds that Americans are overall favourable to the contribution of the Internet in the field of journalism. The results show that 53 per cent of respondents believe the Internet has had a positive impact on the fourth estate.
On the other hand, 26 per cent believe it has been bad for the profession while 13 per cent say it’s had no impact and 9 per cent are not certain.
While a majority believe journalism is benefiting overall from the Internet, most respondents do not trust bloggers. Forty-six per cent say they’re not as reliable as well known television and newspaper reporters, 32 per cent are not sure while only 22 per cent believe well-known bloggers are as reliable.
The age of respondents showed a trend, where younger individuals, under the age of 30 showed more enthusiasm towards the contribution of the Internet to journalism. Sixty-six per cent of that age group said the Internet has been good for journalism. Their group was also more confident in bloggers, with one in three respondents thinking they were reliable.
At the end of the spectrum, senior citizens were more divided on the question, with 36 per cent feeling it’s been positive while 33 per cent believe the Internet is a nuisance. Only 12 per cent of seniors thought bloggers were reliable.
An earlier Rasmussen poll, published in mid-August, found that adults under 40 saw the Internet as the best news source while seniors preferred print newspapers. Those over 50 were said to rather television, for the most part.
A breakdown by political inclination finds that liberals see positively the impact of the Internet on journalism, while conservatives were cooler.
“Sixty-two percent (62%) of liberals say the impact on journalism has been good while 18% say the opposite. Among conservatives, 51% say the impact has been positive while 32% see a negative impact,” explains the polling firm in a statement.
The study also notes that 54 per cent of liberals believe the Internet has had a positive impact on politics along with 41 per cent of conservatives.
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