New York Magazine suffered a giant blow last week when it lost its owner Bruce Wasserstein. Still, the publication trucks on, just as fun and relevant as ever, and perhaps even more cleverly than ever with their recent dissection of how news is disseminated. The point of the article was to answer, definitively, who is breaking our top stories of the day; bloggers, television reporters, print journalists, or some unholy hybrid of that trinity. Their findings?
Not very much. The news cycle of the 24-hours in question was driven by stories stemming from unlikely sources such as Andrew Breitbart, Yale Daily News, and the National Enquirer. We could have told you that CNN has basically become a blooper reel for YouTube without the graph. But there’s hope for traditional journalism:
…the biggest news of the day was, it turns out, driven by a classic big-paper scoop: Bob Woodward had gotten his hands on General Stanley McChrystal’s confidential assessment of possible “mission failure” in Afghanistan and had written about it in the Washington Post.
The underlying irony (that New York is fully aware of) is that it would take the original reporting of the Watergate hero to cut through the blog-news ephemera of the day. Of course, the meta-commentary here is that we ourselves are just summarizing the original report of New York, which for all it’s flaws, was an attempt by a magazine to do some serious journalistic research. The upside of this little experiment may be to encourage all of us to go out there and do some original footwork of our own, instead of recycling stories and merely adding commentary.