The only news that gets reported are the stories that come to the papers, there are no journalists anymore that go out looking for news. The importance of blogging during the recent election was mooted by Damien Mulley and that idea could be developed further into all news reporting. Why shouldnâ€™t bloggers get the scoops?
There is plenty of news out there to go around I should think, though it would take some looking and digging unless you happened upon it by chance. Not every story would be headlined on the evening news but I suspect there are more enthusiastic bloggers out there than reporters.
Firstly, I do think there are journalists who search for stories but I also think the modern cut and thrust of the news industry means most cannot afford to spend too much time on a story and deeply researching it. They are afterall paid to report on a daily or weekly basis and to fill x amount of space while trying to produce something which is also timely and not old news.
Enough of that for now, so why don’t bloggers get scoops? I think it has to do with the type of scoops. Some are deliberately leaked or fed in return for an ego boost, knowing you are the cause of headlines, even if you are a “source within company x”. If I did an FOI and got some great information and I blogged it, it might get a bit of attention but only when someone reads my blog in the mainstream press would the readership of the story go from 1200 to 12,000 o even 120,000. You got to wonder if a blog had 120k daily readers, would they be doing the scooping by being fed so much? I think they would. This is how it works in the States. Blogorrah gets a lot of scoops these days or takes a scoop from a lesser site and gets it huge attention. They currently only work in a certain niche but the model can work for other sites too.
Then there are they accidental finds and again getting the word out. Many people that make an accidental find will blog about it if they have a blog and if not they’ll tell someone who’ll tell someone and it ends up getting to the ears of a journalist or is more likely these days, it goes on a blog or discussion forum first. Anything on youTube is on a blog first, including all those Garda videos of late.
Then there are the investigative scoops, after a tipoff or suspicion. Research into company records, or local newspaper stories or FOI requests. Those who are employed to write might have time to do this but bloggers themselves might not have time. The recent article(s) in the Irish Times and their consumer panel were actually noted on my blog last year but it was only through a conversation with John Collins that he learned that ComReg pay people on their consumer panel to sit through presentations from telcos on how everything is great in Ireland. Yadda. Yadda.
For the FOI requests, wouldn’t it be good if there was a site that scanned in all FOI requests and made them public. Make FOI requests and either upload them yourelf to the service or post them to the service and they’ll scan them in. Tag them and stick them online to be found. Maybe use OCR software to recan them and convert the scans to text so the search engines can find them even more.
But getting to the point of this post. If someone has an interesting story, wouldn’t it be good if there was an “attention” button which people could press if they think that post should get looked at by the press? kind of like a DIGG button but specifically for newsworthy stories.