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Pew blogger study: Half of all bloggers are women

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

July 20th, 2006

WIMN’s Voices knows, Feministing.com knows, Echidne of the Snakes knows, Carnival of Feminists knows, BroadSheet knows… and now the folks at Pew (and hopefully all those journalists who persistently, and vapidly, claim that blogging is a primarily-male sport) know:

Half of all bloggers are women.

That is, according to a new Pew Internet & American Life report released on July 19 (“Bloggers: A portrait of the internet’s new storytellers”), which found that:

  • Like the internet population in general… bloggers are evenly divided between men and women
  • .

    As Amy Gahran writes on Poynter.org:

    …anyone who continues to ask “where are the women bloggers?” is probably not really looking.

    The Pew report also noted that:

  • More than half (54%) of bloggers are under the age of 30
  • ;, and

  • Bloggers are less likely to be white than the general internet population. Sixty percent of bloggers are white, 11% are African American, 19% are English-speaking Hispanic and 10% identify as some other race. By contrast, 74% of internet users are white, 9% are African American, 11% are English-speaking Hispanic and 6% identify as some other race.
  • Intriguingly, while blogging is not a wholly political hobby — the majority of bloggers maintain their weblogs as an act of creative expression and an attempt at sharing personal experiences — 29% said the primary reason they blog is “To motivate other people to action,” while 27% said they do so “To influence the way other people think.”

    Additionally, one-third of bloggers (34%) consider their blog a form of journalism, 57% of bloggers include links to original sources either “sometimes” or “often,” and 56% of bloggers spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either “sometimes” or “often.”

    Listen up, corporate journos: time to stop reporting on all those “here’s a photo of me on a picnic with my pet Fluffy and a Photoshopped Lindsey Lohan” stories about bloggers. There’s a more socially relevant story to be told. A small but growing (blog readership and blog ownership have increased dramatically in recent years, Pew shows) army of young, racially diverse, fact-checking bloggers — half of whom are women, and a nearly a third of whom are politically motivated — are engaging the public debate every day.

    This Pew study doesn’t only shed light on the demographics of the blogosphere — it raises some very basic questions about the demographics of sources quoted in corporate news reports about blogs. If bloggers are approximately 50% female and are racially diverse, why are white men still the majority of bloggers quoted and discussed in print and broadcast reports about blogs (that is, reports not focused on porn, or on predatory threats to girls with MySpace accounts)?

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