The 50 most popular newspaper blogs

Every month, Editor and Publisher publishes a list of the most visited newspaper websites based on unique visitors. But while this gives you an idea of the overall traffic of a newspaper site, I was interested in diving in and determining the success each of these newspapers has had with the blogging medium. After all, the New York Times alone has more than 60 blogs, and most of the top 10 most-visited newspapers have at least 20 blogs under their domains. But does high web traffic indicate a newspaper is adept at blogging?

To determine this, I combed through the hundreds of blogs at the top newspaper sites and calculated each of their Technorati rankings. A Technorati ranking is based on the number of inbound links from separate blogs in a six-month period, and is a decent indicator of a blog’s popularity. Once I determined the rankings, I ordered them from popular to least popular. Below, you will find the 50 most popular newspaper blogs.

Of all the newspapers surveyed, the New York Times had the most blogs make the list, with 22. The LA Times came in second, with nine. Of those blogs that made the list, eight were in the top 100 most popular blogs on the internet, while all 50 blogs made it into the top 5,000.

Below are the top 50. If you feel that I’ve missed a blog, please let me know in the comments section.

5/7/09 The list has been updated to reflect blogs I missed

1. The Big Picture
Rank: 5

2. The Caucus
Rank: 36

3. Bits Blog
Rank: 41

4. Paul Krugman
Rank: 55

5. City Room
Rank: 63

6. Freakonomics
Rank: 71

7. Ben Smith’s blog
Rank: 77

8. Washington Wire
Rank: 89

9. Deal Book
Rank: 144

10. Top of the Ticket
Rank: 158

11. LA Now
Rank: 318

12. The Swamp
Rank: 676

13. The Lede
Rank: 700

14. Law Blog
Rank: Rank: 750

15. Technology
Rank: 787

16. Well
Rank: 899

17. Green Inc.
Rank: 1,095

18. Arts Beat
Rank: 1,200

19. Economix
Rank: 1,256

20. On Deadline
Rank: 1,276

21. Security Fix
Rank: 1,281

22. The Dish Rag
Rank: 1,324

23. Abstract City
Rank: 1,422

24. Real Time Economics
Rank: 1,476

25. Room for Debate
Rank: 1,597

26. The Moment
Rank: 1,623

27. Dot Earth
Rank: 1,709

28. Health Blog
Rank: 1,769

29. The Juggle
Rank: 1,911

30. Michael Calderone
Rank: 1,978

31. The Plum Line
Rank: 1,996

32. On Faith
Rank: 2,046

33. Pop & Hiss
Rank: 2,154

34. Show Tracker
Rank: 2,290

35. Hero Complex
Rank: 2,320

36. DC Sports Blog
Rank: 2,338

37. Bitten
Rank: 2,424

38. Jacket Copy
Rank: 2,894

39. Deal Journal
Rank: 2,913

40. Environmental Capital
Rank: 3,409

41. Washington Post Investigations
Rank: 3,062

42. Parenting
Rank: 3,119

43. Post Partisan
Rank: 3,329

44. Paper Cuts
Rank: 3,370

45. Fabulous Forum
Rank: 3,402

46. Pogue’s Posts
Rank: 3,581

47. Think Again
Rank: 3,722

48. Opinionator
Rank: 3,750

49. Domestic Disturbances
Rank: 3,778

50. Pop Candy
Rank: 3,940

Follow me on Twitter

10 Comments

  1. Drew Says:

    I’ve always loved the big picture: definitely deserves the number 1 spot.

  2. Marion Says:

    I looked at most of the links — and liked some a lot. But, at least with respect to political links, the list seems tremendously slated toward liberal articles. Have you looked at conservative blogs? Or how about some of the Fox News or Wall Street Journal blogs?

  3. Dorion Carroll Says:

    Simon already included WSJ blogs. here are the Top 10 by Technorati Authority:

    2232 http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire
    1422 http://blogs.wsj.com/law
    1047 http://blogs.wsj.com/economics
    911 http://blogs.wsj.com/health
    905 http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle
    696 http://blogs.wsj.com/deals
    628 http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital
    536 http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech
    477 http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat
    332 http://blogs.wsj.com/runway

    What’s interesting is that almost all of these are from 5 major newspapers:

    NY Times
    LA Times
    Washington Post
    Wall Street Journal
    USA Today

    Should we conclude that these are the only media organizations that show any signs of transforming themselves? Maybe.

    The news sites in the top 50 here not from one of those 5 organizations:

    9756 http://www.boston.com/bigpicture
    2395 http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith
    888 http://www.politico.com/blogs/michaelcalderone
    1476 http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog
    1143 http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog

  4. david Says:

    Not surprisingly, I read several of these blogs before their respective newspaper’s content. Thanks for the list.

  5. TampaJim Says:

    Two problems with your ranking.

    First of all, your most popular blog is not a New York Times blog. It’s a Boston.com (Boston Globe) blog. Oddly, it’s also first on your list of blogs not from the top 5 news organizations. How could you not have noticed that?

    Secondly, Technorati is not a good way of measuring the popularity of blogs. At best it could be said to measure the popularity of blogs WITHIN THE BLOGOSPHERE. That is not even close to the same thing as measuring the readership of a blog in the real world. The folks at Technorati themselves caution against interpreting their numbers the way you are.

    Also, the papers you noted are all national publications, with the possible exception of the LA Times. Of course they get more links than reqional or smaller papers. That’s “the sky is blue” kind of analysis.

  6. Simon Says:

    Tampa Jim, please show me where I ever claimed in my piece that The Big Picture is a New York Times blog. I don’t.

    As for Technorati rankings, I explain my methodology, never once do I say that “these blogs have the most traffic.” I never claim that these are the blogs with the highest readerships.

    You are, quite frankly, arguing with a straw man.

  7. More about Ben Says:

    Giving out awards is a great way to get links from the self-important, isn’t it? In fact, I came here from a Ben Smith link and I’m sure more will follow. As for why he’d be #6, it’s certainly not for his accuracy: there’s an example of just one of his lies at my name’s link.

    As for the NYT blogs, my comments are rarely approved, and sometimes they aren’t approved at the LAT’s blogs or they wait 24 hours before approving them in order to try to fool as many people as possible. Perhaps that’s good for a few points off.

  8. elohn Says:

    These #s are highly suspect. I think there are blogs at sfgate.com that get way more traffic than Newsweek’s “On Faith” or the La Times’ book blog. Something is fishy here.

  9. karentmurphy Says:

    I didn’t see Dan Froomkin’s “White House Watch” at the Washingtonpost online listed here.

    His stuff is consistently terrific!

  10. Tommy Stevenson Says:

    I have a couple of modest little blogs at The Tuscaloosa News, a New York Times-owned paper in Alabama. I am not allowed to have a site meter on it and don’t trust the hosts record of daily hits. This may be a stupid question, but how can I find out what my actual traffic is?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin