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This isn’t another post about how awesome we are. No, seriously. That’s at most a secondary goal. The reason behind my posting this ridiculously awesome graph is to prove a point to a certain small yet vocal minority within the firearms media that believe bloggers aren’t legitimate journalists, get only “a couple thousand hits” and should be treated like second class citizens.

The truth is that blogs are replacing print media, and those that don’t realize it are going to be left behind. Google searches don’t bring up Guns & Ammo’s print reviews, and American Rifleman news stories aren’t typically plastered and discussed all over the internet. It’s a brave new world, and giving away your content for free is the only way to survive. For the full backstory check out Gunmart’s post on GunsAmerica’s lack of respect for the up-and-comers in the industry.

For the curious, that graph shows our current “Unique Visitors Per Month” as reported by Google Analytics versus the reported circulation (via WolframAlpha) for each magazine. And don’t interpret this as us bashing Guns & Ammo — they write some good stuff and I make a point to read it every month — but competition is what drives innovation.

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  1. …small yet vocal minority within the firearms media that believe bloggers aren’t legitimate journalists…

    I think this goes for most other <fill in the blank> media as well, particularly the so-called “Mainstream Media.” Bloggers are here to stay, and great bloggers and blogs like TTAG are where the informed are now getting their information.

    I feel fortunate to have found TTAG – kudos to y’all.

    • Print.My monthly journey to the bookstore is for the latest edition of G&A and 2600, not just to scope out the latest book releases.

      • 2600 is still sold in stores? Too bad for all their ranting about freedom of information, you would think they would have it for free online. At the very least I would like to see the back issues up there. Yes, I know there are plenty of torrents. Anything good in them nowadays? I havent read a copy since I was in high school.

  2. First off let me say, I have no issue with bloggers nor blogging.
    There is a reason the first amendment is the FIRST amendment. And (in my opinion) the second amendment is to make sure we keep the first amendment. That said–
    We used to be able to assume that a journalist was trained in the trade.
    The “mainstream” made sure one was before hiring them.
    Not quite so true with blogging.
    Now, as your evidence shows, the public doesn’t care.
    AND blogging is becoming the mainstream.
    That’s scary to me.

    • We used to be able to assume that a journalist was trained in the trade.

      Just because you assumed it does not mean that it was true. Peter Jennings was a high school dropout and a preteen TV performer. Dan Rather was a “trained journalist?” I’m sorry, but that one made me snicker just a little.

      If you were focusing on the print media, it’s been just as bad. You know about Yellow Journalism. You know how the Hearst papers pushed this country into the Spanish-American War by inventing “Remember the Maine.” You know about left and right bias in print.

      The gun magazines were far superior. The writers could really write, but none of them were “journalists” or ever claimed to be. They were hunters, shooters, fishermen and sportsmen who loved the lifestyle, just as we do.

      Sometimes, Keith S, you neeed to check your assumptions. Or at least your facts.

    • Keith, in all respect it does seem as though you have an issue with bloggers and blogging. The MSM (never perfect decades ago) has now become a sick joke in reporting quality practical news is an objective, insightful, and honest manner.

      Most of the larger and better known MSM appears dominated to various degrees with political agendas and one-sided reporting. Consider the NYT, MSNBC, CNN, MarketWeek, Huffington Post, Atlantic, etc. How are they superior to a focused piece written by an informed blogger? Occasionally, the MSM will even publish something written by a blogger.

      The general micro-media and blogs offer good and bad quality news, editorials, articles, and other information. If it had not been for the alternate business micro media and individual bloggers (and Austrian economic sites) I would never have decided to cash out my stocks in November 2007 and gone to cash. I avoided the 2008 Crash because of bloggers and not because I’m some financial whiz kid which I am not.

      I have a long list of micro-media sites and blogs that I go to for informed information written by proven experts which I have a greater degree of respect and trust in.

      • Well, I really don’t have a problem with a blogger nor the practice of blogging.
        And I DO see the benefits.
        All I said is that journalists in the “MSM” have “most likely” been trained.
        The problem I am trying to point out is not just that it takes no credentials nor training to blog, but also that the public doesn’t care.
        The two together is the problem.
        That is NOT to say bloggers haven’t had training, nor that there may be better journalist blogging than in the “MSM”.
        And I never meant to imply that “MSM” doesn’t have its issues.
        Like EVERY other field of endeavor.

        • “All I said is that journalists in the “MSM” have “most likely” been trained.”

          Long ago, when I was in Journalism School as an undergrad I learned that most journalist were English majors. I’m not sure about who or how much ‘training’ they get from the MSM. If a young journalist is fortunate they will be mentored by a good editor who holds them to checking their facts. Going by the resulting quality of most MSM organizations there appears to be some major failure going on. When I lived in San Francisco, the SF Examiner misspelled the name San Francisco in a major way on the front page. It gave the City a good laugh.

  3. I’m a poor college student.Thus,outside of the Ayoob Files there is nothing relevant in such magazines for me to read.$3000 1911s and $4000 AR15s are nice kit,but that’s all such gun rags dare print.

    It reflects a larger problem with print media,as the management of such magazines are so consumed with getting advertising money that content and honest journalism suffers.Blogs today do not suffer from such greediness.

  4. Not sure how to interpret the graph as I subscribe to all 3 listed in the graph.
    So where does that put me?

    • There’s nothing wrong with reading all three, the point is that companies can’t ignore bloggers anymore.

  5. Just wondering but where do you get statistics for the other websites? Does google analytics make that info generally available?

  6. “TTAG More Widely Read than Guns & Ammo, American Handgunner Magazines”

    Unsurprising. They’re filled with articles by corporate shills and mall ninjas. Sure there may be the occasional good article, but these are few and far between.

  7. As for “trained” media…seems to me their training is in how to write biases material and sound unbiased to the naive and ignorant. On TTAG and some other blogs, the bias is not hidden, but proudly displayed. Everyone has spin. Some are honest about it. I prefer the honesty far above the hypocrisy

  8. Ralph,
    Rather graduated from Sam Houston University in 1953 with a bachelor in Journalism.
    Yeah, Jennings admitted he wasn’t qualified to be the anchor–at first —
    Then he went off and was a foreign correspondent around the world in many danger zones….seems like pretty good on the job training.

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