'Death by Blogging' Story Was Pure Hooey

Sensationalist Times piece spun out of nothing, says Slate
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 11:27 AM CDT
Chris Smith, a sophomore at Ohio Dominican University, looks at his blog in his dorm room, Tuesday, May 1, 2007, in Columbus, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
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(Newser) – The relentlessly self-analytical blogosphere had a field day with the recent New York Times story on bloggers allegedly writing themselves to death. But as the Internet exploded with reaction to the paper's claims, a Slate critic points out that the dire trend story was backed up by the thinnest tissue of circumstance. "Let's not kid ourselves that any white-collar work ranks high among dangerous professions," sniffs Timothy Noah in Slate.

The Times piece named only two bloggers who died, and the journalist prefaced the story with a "caveat-rich" disclaimer that he had no evidence that work-related stress caused either demise. Workers are 10 times more likely to die doing construction than blogging, which should give the Times reporter "some sense of proportion."