Penn State University's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism recently released the results of a survey conducted with over 200 independent sports bloggers, to get a picture of who they are, what motivates them, and what they believe sets them apart from the traditional media.
From their press release:
No matter the sport, bloggers believe their approach sets them apart -- 60 percent said "attitude" is essential for good blogs, and 63 percent believe blogs provide an equal playing field for opinion and commentary.
[Associate professor Marie] Hardin said those attributes -- the creativity and interactivity -- drive blogs’ popularity.
"But bloggers also draw scrutiny because they may not verify information or apply standard news judgment," Hardin added. "This could be a result of inexperience and lack of journalistic training. As more bloggers seek credentials, we will likely see them more strongly adhere to the values of professionals. But that doesn’t mean they have to discard what makes them popular."
You can read the study itself in PDF form.