BILDblog hits the big time in the US this morning with an article in the New York Times: "Europe Teems with Web Dailies that Twit the Mainstream Press" . The print version even has a large photo of blogger Christoph Schultheiss. Here are the key graphs:
But fact-checking is what draws more than 300,000 readers a month to Bildblog, a media monitor that was created in the summer of 2004 and dissects the tabloid reports of Bild, Germany's leading daily, which has a paid circulation of more than 3.8 million.
Four journalists with conventional day jobs scan Bild in their off hours to interpret and analyze the tabloid.
The site, created in June 2004, draws about 10,000 visitors a day, with many readers sending tips to an e-mail address, said Christoph Schultheis, a freelance journalist and the only founding member of Bildblog who was willing to talk publicly.
"We started doing it because in the daily newspaper business we read Bild anyway," Mr. Schultheis said. "We always found small things we can't put in other newspapers because we can't do it every day. So we decided to create a place to collect them."
Many of Bildblog's readers appear to be Bild employees, Mr. Schultheis said. Bild's management is philosophical about the situation.
"Bildblog is hardly above the threshold of our attention," said Tobias Fröhlich, a spokesman for Bild's parent company, Axel Springer. "We can't help liking it. It is full of silly assertions, pure nonsense and refreshingly biased stories. Moreover, Bildblog boasts the importance of Bild by calling us the undisputed opinion leader and agenda setter in Germany. What more can one ask for?"
While it's nice that at least one German Weblog receives this kind of recognition, it is unfortunate that the article didn't mention at least a few other important Weblogs that monitor the mainstream press such as Der Spindoktor, Medienkritik (which gets as many readers as BILDblog). Wortfeld, just to name a few.