Sunday, May 31, 2009

Commentary: How Twitter poses a threat to newspapers | McClatchy

Got this story from Twitter.

Commentary: How Twitter poses a threat to newspapers | McClatchy: "The end began in January 1998, when Matt Drudge broke the story on his blog that linked President Clinton amorously to a young White House intern.

At least that's how his scoop is remembered, as a signature moment in the growing dominance of online news. Except that's not what happened.

Drudge didn't break the intern story because he didn't have it. What he reported was that Newsweek magazine had the story but wouldn't publish it.

Evidently somebody at Newsweek was fed up with the magazine's reluctance and told Drudge. I think that was the first time a major story went public after being back-channeled from reporters at a mainstream news organization to an unaffiliated website.

What Drudge's scoop really exemplified was the declining ability of news managers to control their staffs' access to the public. Today, 11 years later, thanks to the Internet most every journalist here can reach independently an audience immeasurably greater than the star reporter on the biggest newspaper or top-rated newscast could a generation ago.

Now the traditional news business is built, one way or another, on a promise of exclusivity: What we've got you won't get elsewhere. So the idea that a media company's biggest threat may come from its own newsroom is hard for news managers to swallow."
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