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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Numbers cut through blogging hype
A blogger types on his laptop
Most bloggers write about their experiences and hobbies
Bloggers who say their writings are a form of journalism are in the minority, despite the hype, two surveys reveal.

A study by social networking site MSN Spaces found that nearly 60% of people in the UK use blogs as an online diary.

"Citizen journalists" are increasingly dominating the headlines for reporting events using online tools like blogs.

A second survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 65% of people in the US who write a blog also do not consider their work journalism.

Not trusted

The Pew project interviewed 233 active bloggers. Most cited "my life and experiences" as a primary topic of their blog.

This was followed by politics and government issues and entertainment-related topics.

"Blogs are as individual as the people who keep them, but this survey shows that most bloggers are primarily interested in creative, personal expression," said Amanda Lenhart, a senior research specialist at the project.

The survey of 750 internet users by MSN Space showed UK bloggers had similar interests.

Is blogging journalism?
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The research found that 28% of UK bloggers write about a hobby compared to 12% who write about world events.

A quarter of internet users in the UK now write a blog, according to MSN Space.

A fifth said they wrote entries to make their voice heard.

The MSN study also asked why people read blogs.

More than a third of respondents said that they read them for the latest technology news. A further 30% said they read them to find out about new music, and 28% about general news.

However, readers did not trust the information. Only 4% saw blog entries as a "totally impartial form, of information" and nearly two-thirds said they took what they read "with a pinch of salt".

Of the people surveyed, 78% said they trusted more traditional forms of media to provide them with accurate information.

Over half of the respondents in the Pew survey said that they tried to verify facts in their posts "sometimes" or "often".

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