Friday, July 21, 2006

Blogs are an emotional outlet

Posted on Thu, Jul. 20, 2006

Blogs are an emotional outlet
A survey showed that 76 percent of American bloggers use the Web to
express themselves, not as an antidote to the mainstream media.

Valentin Prieto made his foray into the blogosphere in 2003 as one of
the first Cuban Americans to chronicle the experience of exile in a Web
journal called Babalú Blog.

For the last three years, he has been updating his tiny corner of the
World Wide Web every two to three hours with news articles, personal
stories, criticism, poetry and photographs in a collage, he says, which
reflects the complexity of life in Cuba.

''But it's not journalism,'' says Prieto, 41, of Miami.

Many view Web journals, popularly known as blogs, as an antidote to the
mainstream media, but according to a report released today by the Pew
Internet & American Life Project, more than 76 percent of an estimated
12 million American bloggers say they post to express themselves and
share their experiences with others.

While bloggers have made media history by breaking news and torpedoing
some of the industries most respected practitioners, most notably Dan
Rather, 64 percent of bloggers said they don't see their work as a form
of journalism.

However, about 56 percent said they ''sometimes'' or ''often'' engaged
in journalistic activities like fact checking and linking to original
source material.

The Pew Survey also revealed an astonishing diversity of bloggers, who
are less likely to be white than the general Internet population.

Eleven percent are African American, 19 percent are English-speaking
Hispanic and 10 percent identify themselves as some other race.

Fifty percent are under the age of 30. And 57 million adults, or 39
percent of U.S. Web users, read blogs, researchers said.

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