A new study by PR Week and PR Newswire (via TechCrunch) reports that 52% of bloggers included in the survey consider themselves to be journalists (up from one-third of surveyed bloggers in 2009).

Considering how many news stories broke on blogs and Twitter, were analyzed and reported on by bloggers, and debunked on blogs over the past year, a segment of authoritative bloggers certainly has emerged from the clutter of the social Web.  In fact, more and more of those influential and respected bloggers are being called to discuss their expertise and insights in various media outside the social Web everyday.

In other words, the world of traditional news and journalism has changed, and bloggers have become an important source of news and authoritative commentary.  The results from the PR Week and PR Newswire study support this trend.  The study found that 91% of bloggers and 68% of online reporters surveyed “always” or “sometimes” use blogs for research while just 35% of newspaper and 38% of print magazine journalists turn to blogs or social networks to research stories.

Similarly, 64% of bloggers and 36% of online reporters use Twitter for research while only 19% of newspaper reporters and 17% of print magazine reporters use Twitter for research.  I suppose these results shouldn’t be surprising given the amount of backlash that traditional news organizations like CNN got during the summer of 2009 for delayed coverage of the Iran election — and that’s just one example of blogs and Twitter delivering news faster and more thoroughly than traditional news organizations.

It appears that there is still a gap in understanding between traditional journalists and the credibility, experience and expertise that many authoritative bloggers, Twitter users, and active participants on the social Web bring to the table.  It will be interesting to watch these numbers shift in coming years as more and more people turn to the authoritative content producers online for news and information.  The question is how fast that shift will happen.  What do you think?

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