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Thursday, December 29, 2011 12:30 PM

Do Blogs Present "News" or "Commentary"? Is there a Difference? Should There Be?

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Do bloggers present "news" or "commentary"?

The reason I ask is the advertising agency that represents my blog said advertisers were "looking to hear from our publishers on whether or not they break new stories".

Do I break news stories? Is reporting on the news (which is in general what all the economic bloggers do), news in and of itself?

My initial thought was that I comment on the news, not "break news stories". As I look at Calculated Risk, the Big Picture, and even Zero Hedge I would suggest we all primarily comment on the news, although all of us occasionally have major exclusive thoughts.

The criteria, however, which I initially missed was "external news sources crediting my blog".

On that basis, it is crystal clear that Calculated Risk, the Big Picture, Zero Hedge and my blog are news sources. Nonetheless I needed to provide recent citations.

My search turned up many things I was aware of and a few things I was not aware of at all.

Here are some examples I was well aware of in advance.

Known List

Surprise List

I frequently review my hit list as do other bloggers. There are numerous other examples I could cite. I found one big surprise in my search.

Top 10 Blogger Blogs

Please consider the top ten blogspot blogs 2011- blogger powered blogs

The first 9 “blogspot” blogs are Google internal blogs. I was quite surprised to find myself in the list at all. Yet there I am, at #10. I do not know for how long. If Google launches another blog, not long. However, the record shows I did beat out the official Twitter blog and other prominent blogs.
#10 Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management.
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Top Financial Blog Citations

  1. New York Times: NYT 10th Annual Year in Ideas - #1 Idea of the Year 'Do-It-Yourself Macroeconomics'
  2. Time Magazine: Best 25 Financial Blogs
  3. Bloomberg: Financial Blogs: The Best of the Bunch

Still, I return to the initial question. Do bloggers offer "news" or "commentary"? What does Fox News offer? The Wall Street Journal? LA Times?

Look at recent headlines by Time Magazine, the LA Times, CNN, Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and numerous other places that "Ron Paul Walked Out" of an interview with CNN.

The truth is quite different as noted in Ron Paul Did Not "Walk Out" of CNN Interview; Blatantly Biased Headline by Time Magazine; Six Reasons to Vote for Paul

Much of what is presented as "facts" by major news organizations is in reality an infomercial for a slanted point of view. Furthermore, major news stories headlines frequently do not match the article.

Government data is often questionable, and I would be remiss if I failed to point out Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg PM and Head Euro-Zone Finance Minister famously stated "When it becomes serious, you have to lie". In such cases, even if the news reporting is not purposely slanted, an article itself might be, unbeknown by the writer.

So, is anything really news, or is it all commentary? At least with bloggers, everyone understands the score.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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