13 February 2005
Eason Jordan and the rise of the Blogosphere

For those unfamiliar with the Easongate, I am probably not the best person to go to for a summary but here goes:  Jordan was a CNN executive.  In a meeting in Davos, Switzerland he is alleged to have claimed that the US military was assassinating journalists.  There was a tape of his remarks.  He was alleged to have prevented that tape from being broadcast.  The blogosphere kicked up a fuss.  The MSM (mainstream media) did almost nothing.

And now he has resigned.

Splutter.

In Rathergate the MSM did take notice.  But in this case they didn’t.  And still the guy had to go.  How come?  I am flabbergasted.  The only explanation (that I can think of) is that the Blogosphere is so powerful these days that the MSM can no longer even protect one of its own.

But how is that?  It’s not as if blogs are that widely read.  Glenn Reynolds gets some 150,000 hits a day.  That’s about one out of every 2,000 Americans.  And he’s the biggest.  But he’s clearly punching way above his weight.  I can’t imagine the brahmins of the MSM particularly care or, indeed, know of his opinions.  But they are clearly acting on them.  The only thing I can imagine is that, in some way, opinions seep, partly via the internet, partly via word of mouth.

Golly.

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  1. There are several waves of influence with blogs:

    1. That blog’s own readers
    2. The readers of other blogs, whose authors link to Number 1’s posts
    3. The readers of online publications - Guardian Online, Wired.com, MSNBC.com, Slashdot, Janes.com, etc - which pick up on blog content
    4. Offline publications which pick up on stuff from online (such as when Matt Drudge broke the Lewinsky scandal in 1998 and it then hit everywhere in the MSM)
    5. Readers of those offline publications spreading the news via more traditional word of mouth

    Because, you know, this is what it’s all about - word of mouth, but in an incredibly accessible, permanent, tangible way. You hit the nail on the head when you credit the blogosphere and not blogs. The format makes all this possible, but without the network to pass on the information, it goes nowhere.

    Posted by Jackie on 13 February 2005 at 09:37pm

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