At the Post-Dispatch, Drudge equals social networking

You may have noted the recent LA Times piece on how news organizations scramble for notice by über-gossipmeister Matt Drudge.

Every day, journalists and media executives in newsrooms across the land hope they'll have something that catches Drudge's fancy — or, as he has put it, "raises my whiskers." Most keep their fingers crossed that he'll discover their articles on his own and link to them. Others are more proactive, sending anonymous e-mails or placing calls to him or his behind-the-scenes assistant.

As Greg Sargent comments at TPM Election Central, it's a reminder of the pathetic state of journalism in these United States - though not a surprise. That story that came to mind today as I skimmed a piece at the website of my hometown paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I saw that the P-D had jumped on the social networking bandwagon, providing "Save & Share" links at the end of its stories. "Save & Share" is old news for such online papers as the Washington Post; the usual options for sharing stories include such venues as, Digg, reddit, Facebook, and the like.

All well and good, and all fairly innocuous, except that one of the "social networking" options provided by the P-D is, ah, "Drudge." That is, it's your standard "Send News Tips to Drudge" webform.

Now perhaps the term "social networking" is flexible enough that it can be stretched to include begging for notice on Drudge - or more specifically, encouraging your readers to beg for such notice on your behalf - but if so, this is the first I've heard of it. I have no idea how many newspapers engage in this practice, but even one is too many. It's a clear example - not that we needed another one - of Drudge's influence.

An observation by Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and quoted in the LA Times piece, comes to mind:

"The dirty little secret about Drudge," Rosenstiel says, "is that he's a gateway for conventional journalism."

The Post-Dispatch makes that point clear enough.

(Cross-posted...though not at Drudge. Hey, maybe it should be.)

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus