Here’s an interesting survey from Ipsos:

Washington, DC – Debate continues about the effect that blogs are having on politics, media and public opinion in the United States. A recent survey conducted by Ipsos reveals one in three of Online Americans had read a blog at least once. More than half of blog readers say blogs influence public opinion (68%), mainstream media (56%) and public policy (54%). Updated periodically throughout the day, they provide online commentary on anything from politics to religion to celebrity gossip.

Three In Ten Online Americans Claim That They Have Read A Blog Thirty percent of the online population said they had read a blog at least once. Among those who read blogs, 38% do so at least once per week. More than two in five of those aged 18 to 34 (41%) and those with a college-education (41%) have visited blogs at least once. Geographically speaking, blogs are most popular in the western United States where 37% of residents reported visiting a blog.

Many Blog-Readers Trust Blogs As A Media Source Half of those who have read a blog at least once described them as very or somewhat accurate. Among those who don’t read blogs, however, blogs were described as accurate only 22% of the time.

Blog-readers are also more likely to judge other media sources more accurate than their non-blogging counterparts. Blog-readers are more likely than non-blog readers to cite Local news (84% vs. 75%), Newspapers (81% vs. 71%), Cable News Networks (79% vs. 71%), and Network News (78% vs. 69%) as accurate as well. Among All Online Americans, Many Believe Blogs Influence Politics, Media, And Public Opinion

The venue in which blogs are seen as most influential is public opinion: 68% of blog-readers believe that blogs influence public opinion. Even among those who don’t read blogs, three in ten (29%) believe blogs influence public opinion. Those who read blogs also feel they are having an influence on mainstream media. Nearly 6 in 10 (56%) blog-readers said they think that blogs have become at least somewhat influential to mainstream media like TV and Newspapers.

Even one in four (25%) of those who don’t read blogs think they are at least somewhat influential on the mainstream media. When asked about the perceived influence on public policy, 54% of blog-readers feel blogs are having an influence. Again, one in four non-blog-readers also believe they influence public policy. These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted from April 14th to April 24th via a representative online US sample of 2,537 American adults. For the total sample of 2,537 results are accurate 95% of the time with a +/- 1.95% margin of error. For the sample of 771 blog readers, results are accurate 95% of the time with a margin of error of
+/- 3.50%.