Let’s say there’s a story that’s creating a bit of buzz within local political circles, that no local journalist is willing to report. You know, like the somewhat sensitive if well-founded concerns that there might be something wrong with Rep. Dave Reichert’s brain. So how do you move this local political story into the local traditional press?
Step 1.) Local blogger pounds story (in this case, over on the higher profile Slog.)
Step 2.) National blogger picks up story, adding credibility and exposure.
Step 4.) Local newspaper, scooped in their own backyard by a Beltway rag, finally follows up, delivering story to their large, local audience.
That’s what I call the “Virtuous News Cycle,” variations of which I’m constantly playing to various degrees of success on issues I find important, but nobody else does. And while you may think it manipulative, or insist that this particular line of inquiry was inappropriate or irresponsible, regardless of the larger media’s ultimate response, think about this:
Reichert’s post-brain-trauma mental capacity, or lack thereof, is either news, or it’s not news. Which means, it was either worthy of a Seattle Times article weeks ago, when I first hit the story, or it is not worthy of reporting even now, after their hand has finally been forced. I didn’t make this news; I just made other journalists pay attention to it.
And that’s what effective blogging is all about.