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21 Dec

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The Relevance of Weblogs for the Work of Political Journalists: My Masters Thesis is Online

December 21, 2007 | By |

I just received news that my masters thesis has been graded (1.0 = “very good”), which also means I’m now allowed to publish it online. For the thesis, I interviewed political journalists working at German newspapers (print and online) as well as news agencies about the relevance of weblogs for their work, and how they make use of weblogs. (They hardly do.)

The thesis is released under a Creative Commons license (by-nc-sa), more info about the thesis here.

Abstract As either competition or partners of traditional media, weblogs are assumed to become increasingly relevant for journalism (see Gillmor 2006, Neuberger 2006b, Bucher/Büffel 2006, Benkler 2006): In US election campaigns, bloggers have long since become heavyweights in their role as political commentators, and in Germany corporations and political parties also increasingly use weblogs as a means of communication.

How relevant are weblogs for the day-to-day work of political journalists in Germany? For this study, I interviewed political journalists working at German newspapers (print and online) as well as news agencies about the relevance of weblogs for their work.

The interviewed political journalists attested weblogs to be of little relevance for their work. Weblogs were attributed more relevance for international political reporting than for domestic political reporting.

Keywords: Weblogs, Blogs, Blogosphere, Political Journalists, Citizen Journalism, Participatory Journalism, Web 2.0, Journalism

The thesis is available here (German only except for the abstract): Die Bedeutung von Weblogs für die Arbeit von Politikjournalisten (Bihr 2007) (PDF, 1MB, 227 pages)

I’m curious about your feedback, so if you have anything to add (and I’m sure there is plenty!) please get in touch.