The source cycle: How traditional media and weblogs use each other as sources

Marcus Messner, Marcia Watson Distaso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Research has established that sources have the power to influence the news agenda of the media and that media can under certain circumstances act as sources for each other. This study examined the use of weblogs as sources in the traditional media and the use of sources in weblogs in general. A content analysis of 2059 articles over a six-year period from the New York Times and the Washington Post found that the newspapers increasingly legitimized weblogs as credible sources. A separate content analysis of 120 weblogs found that they heavily relied on the traditional media as sources. By allowing each other to influence their news agendas, there is indication that the traditional media and weblogs create what the researchers introduce and define as a news source cycle, in which news content can be passed back and forth from media to media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-463
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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