Another day, another bit of blog pessimism from yours truly.
I’ve just posted a story I wrote about the scarcity of news coming out of Turkmenistan (one one of the scariest countries in the world) — and how the evidence shows that the blogosphere is doing a pretty lousy job of reporting foreign news.
Right on cue, one of my sources for the story, Ethan Zuckerman of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, has put up a post about his research into how bloggers selectively amplify stories from various countries:
Given bloggers’ tendency to report on developing nations less than mainstream news sources, and the NY Times/Blogpulse comparisons using Iraq as a baseline, I’m tempted to conclude that bloggers reported on the AlertNet 10 under-reported stories no more frequently than mainstream papers. But it looks like bloggers seized the tsunami issue with passion, mentioning the tsunami, tsunami relief concerts and aid efforts to a greater degree than mainstream news sources.
And I’m tempted to conclude that the blogosphere is even worse at looking beyond the backyard than mainstream journalism. And that is saying a lot.