Skip to comments.Web has changed the shape of 'reporting' (Free Republic)
Posted on 02/10/2005 6:28:27 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
"I don't like O'Malley and I am no Dumbocrat / Caligulite. Still, methinks you should validate stuff like this before you post it."
So wrote "Sartorius" on Aug. 13, 2004. The participant in a discussion board on FreeRepublic.com was responding to an explosive posting that Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley was having an extramarital affair.
It turns out that even Web posters themselves question the publishing power the Internet grants anyone with a modem.
Sartorius's skepticism proved salient: Another person posting about the topic was revealed this week to be Joseph Steffen, a longtime political operative for O'Malley's political rival, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
That story, and Steffen's resignation, broke in the mainstream media. But it highlights how Web sites - with their freewheeling rumors and rants - increasingly are forcing more traditional news institutions to write articles that otherwise wouldn't see the light of day.
Rumors of O'Malley's alleged infidelity have long circulated in Baltimore but were not printed in such daily newspapers as The Sun or The Washington Post. It took postings on the Free Republic site, based in Fresno, Calif., to bring that gossip into the local papers of public record, as part of the story of a state official's resignation for helping to spread such chatter.
Free Republic, a conservative discussion site, was also among the Web sites that took the lead in casting aspersions on a now-discredited 60 Minutes report on President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service. Ultimately, CBS was forced to investigate its own story and fire key staff members for failing to adequately verify information before airing it.
(Excerpt) Read more at baltimoresun.com ...
WHITE HOUSE BLASTS WASHINGTON POST -- AGAIN
Wed Feb 09 2005 17:25:59 ET
For the second time in less than a week, the White House has issued a rare public demand for The WASHINGTON POST to correct high impact stories about the cost of President Bush's domestic initiatives.
The POST caved last Thursday after the White House savaged reporter Jonathan Weisman's article on Social Security (Benefit Cuts Would Offset Contributions). Not only did the POST run a correction, but Weisman wrote an entire story correcting his earlier account.
The bad blood boiled over again today when the POST led its editions with a story about Medicare costs by Ceci Connolly and Mike Allen (Medicare Drug Benefit May Cost $1.2 Trillion).
The White House issued a scathing attack on the story, coupled with a demand for a fresh correction. A second correction would be a major journalistic embarrassment for the POST, which the White House argues is providing ammunition to Democrats for use in baseless attacks against the president.
The WASHINGTON POST, however, stands by its story this time.
"We're satisfied that our story is quite accurate and don't see any need for a correction," said an editor.
Ping! Your "name" made it into the Baltimore Sun!
Pajamas and modem ready for inspection, Sir!
Is this supposed to be a new technique?
Back in the old days they used to get stuff like O'Malley's infidelities published in a suburban weekly. That's much harder these days now that Conrad Black owns most of them (really!).
Freepers have always historically required verifiable sources ("source please."), which is more than you could say about the MSM ("unidentifiable source.").
Hey, you mean the MSM is paying this much attn to us?
BWAHAHAHA! Considering all the factual errors that freepers find in MSM articles, this is a pathetic joke of a claim. And notice the weasel wording - "Conventional rules of journalism dictate" - not a claim or statement that the MSM actually does adhere to those rules.
So they are saying that even though the mainsteam media broke the story, it's our fault, because we are forcing them to publish what we want. This is too funny.
Well if more would contribute...we wouldn't need those pledge drives:-)
Exactly, here you get argument and requests for proofs, whereas in too many newsrooms you have herd thinking.
(Jan 28, 2005) Court hears requests on ban of 2 Baltimore Sun writers.........The Baltimore Sun Co. has sued Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., alleging that his administration's order banning state employees from speaking with two Sun writers is a violation of their First Amendment rights. The case was heard in court for the first time Friday, with The Sun asking the ban be lifted while the case proceeds. The state asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.
U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. did not rule on either request. Instead, he asked for more information from the state on which employees are subject to the order. The judge's request also gives both sides at least another week to reach a settlement.
Lawyers forThe Sun and the governor have been negotiating for more than a month, and both sides said Friday that they will continue to talk in search of a resolution outside of court. The ban, issued Nov. 18, applies to Sun state house bureau chief David Nitkin and columnist Michael Olesker.
Ehrlich, who did not appear in court Friday, has said he intended the order to have a "chilling effect" on "two writers who have no credibility." The e- mail issuing the ban, sent to 19 state agencies by the governor's press office, said the two writers are "failing to objectively report" on the administration. The Sun argues that the ban was made in retribution for coverage.......
"The Internet has a different basis for strength, and that is openness."
I think this article is a sketchy but accurate description of what we do. We could print this out and carry it in our wallets to show people who ask who we are and what we do.
And they're sycophantically lurking on this very thread to see how "we" react! BAH!
You're correct. Still, I have often wondered if forums like FR are immune to the time honored political art of planting. You still see this in so called town hall candidate nights. Numbers of totally unfamiliar faces asking questions of the candidates. All supposedly from the community, and few who could give you directions to anywhere in the area.
I would think the anonymity of boards, particularly well read boards, would be susceptible to "planting". It would seem a great way to try and discredit the likes of Free Republic.
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