The New New Journalism: All You Need is a Digital Audio Recorder, an Angry President and an Unsuspecting Face

39689664.jpgWho could have guessed that a 61 year old woman would be leading the charge into the wild and unruly lands of the new-media journalism. Armed with only a digital recorder, and nothing identifying her as press “amateur journalist,” Mayhill Fowler (she writes for HuffPo’s “Off the Bus“) managed to scoop just about everyone, twice.

The first time was in April when she caught Barack Obama’s “bitter” moment on tape and then she did it again last week when she egged former President Bill Clinton into his crazy, post Vanity Fair tirade. It’s like she’s a one woman Woodward and Bernstein of Presidential gaffes. What’s her secret? Stealth, apparently.

Says Mayhill:

Of course he had no idea I was a journalist…He just thought we were all average, ordinary Americans who had come out to see him. And, of course, in one sense, that is what I am.

The old guard, not surprisingly, aren’t so thrilled. Jonathan Atler of Newsweek says
This makes it very difficult for the rest of us to do our jobs…You identify yourself when you’re interviewing somebody…It’s just a form of cheating not to.
Cheating or otherwise, in a world where anonymity rarely pays she’s beat the big boys twice now. One imagines campaigns with be addressing the white-haired generation with slightly more caution from here on out.