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Traditional News Media Lead Blogs By 2.5 Hours

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-the-letters-to-the-editor-are-much-quicker dept.

The Media 186

Peace Corps Online writes "The NY Times reports that researchers at Cornell studying the news cycle by looking for repeated phrases and tracking some 90 million articles and blog posts which appeared from August through October 2008 on 1.6 million mainstream media sites and blogs, have discovered that for the most part, traditional news outlets lead and the blogs follow, typically by 2.5 hours. The researchers studied frequently repeated short phrases, the equivalent of 'genetic signatures' for ideas. The biggest text-snippet surge found in the study — 'lipstick on a pig' originated in Barack Obama's colorful put-down of the claim by Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin that they were the genuine voices for change in the campaign. The researchers' paper, 'Meme-tracking and the Dynamics of the News Cycle,' (PDF) shows that although most news flowed from the traditional media to the blogs, 3.5 percent of story lines originated in the blogs and later made their way to traditional media."

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Nobody Cares (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28672925)

/. puts the best bits all in one neat package regardless where its from.

Re:Nobody Cares (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28672937)

Repeatedly!

Re:Nobody Cares (3, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673157)

And don't forget 2.5 months later!

Re:Nobody Cares (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673239)

Excrement does not taste very good.

Re:Nobody Cares (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673247)

Yeah, but they make it up with dupes.

Re:Nobody Cares (1)

reset_button (903303) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673605)

Mod mistake undo

Re:Nobody Cares (2, Funny)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673603)

That's because it's recursive, and lags 2.5 hours behind itself.

Re:Nobody Cares (3, Interesting)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673091)

/. puts the best bits all in one neat package regardless where its from.

Plus, I'd just feel stupid buying a newspaper in order to NOT read any of the articles and just get on with discussing them anyway - what a waste of money. Slashdot makes it feel natural.

Re:Nobody Cares (3, Interesting)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673195)

Contrariwise, traditional 'read-only' media is increasingly annoying to me. I'll hear some news snippet on the radio and want to post a comment.

Re:Nobody Cares (1, Insightful)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674193)

Just put a notebook next to the radio and "post" it there for all the impact comments have on most online news sites.

For the ultimate online discussion experience you can then ring up your wife and tell her that she's fat.

Re:Nobody Cares (2, Interesting)

MindKata (957167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674223)

"hear some news snippet on the radio and want to post a comment"

Also this research wouldn't be able to detect if any news breaks first as a blog and then gets picked up by news organizations. The news organizations can spread the news wide as they have many readers, but the initial seed of news can still come from Blogs.

For example, I was watching in real time the night news broke of Michael Jackson had died. It was very evident the TV people were using the Internet news as their main source of initial information. The first mention he died came from the TMZ blog who were then quoted by TV people about the unconfirmed death, and then as soon as the LA Times web site joined TMZ in publishing he had (maybe) died (as yet unconfirmed), then suddenly all TV companies all jumped at the same time onto the bandwagon very evidently desperate not to be left behind in breaking the news.

My one concern with this Cornell research is that news organizations will try to manipulate it into implying they and only they feed news and so they ultimately control that news and so people are spreading copyright news. That relentless control freak Rupert Murdoch is determined to force news into a payed for service and will bias and twist any news he can in his favor. News papers are driven by shared information on the Internet as much as they are driving the news.

Re:Nobody Cares (4, Interesting)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673449)

But who on /. bothers to RTFA anyway?

And is this a higher percentage than Digg's article/quality-comment ratio? Mind you, the comments on digg are often so inane, if it wasn't for the articles, what's the point? In fact let me continue. It seems the comments by John & Jane Q. Public left on various 'news' articles are often rather mindless, semi-anonymous comments mostly of shock value. Who bothers reading those? What does one hope to gain.

At least on /. I can learn to hack cheap routers from the comments left by readers.

Re:Nobody Cares (1)

baegucb (18706) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673747)

Not to mention expensive routers (with physical access).

Re:Nobody Cares (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673829)

At least on /. I can learn to hack cheap routers from the comments left by readers.

Because you can't learn to do it yourself, if your posting history is any indication.

Go back to Digg, moron.

Re:Nobody Cares (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28674459)

/. puts the best bits all in one neat package regardless where its from.

This basically makes it a news aggregation blog. It's not an original news source because it does not (normally) have original articles.

It's not really a news blog because most news blog postings normally take the form of "this is my considered opinion on the news reported by original news source", whereas Slashdot summaries are generally pretty short.

What sets Slashdot appart from a lesser news aggregation blogs is emphasis on the discussion forum.

And that NYT article (5, Funny)

Lorens (597774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28672931)

did it appear on the NYT site 2.5 hours after the paper came out?

Re:And that NYT article (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673069)

Wasn't 'lipstick on a pig' pointed at Hillary before that (except it wasn't insulting because she's a Democrat)? Or did this happen before there were blogs?

So what's next? (5, Interesting)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28672943)

Which brings up the point again...traditional media outlets will need to figure out how to monetize and stay in business, or all those blogs will no longer have a source for their stories. Then we'll have nothing left but crowdsourced news. Which is OK in a riot or a protest, but otherwise does not come with the depth of research from a good, non-lazy journalist that does his or her homework, uses multiple sources to back up facts, etc. etc.

So what's the future look like? A merging of the blogosphere and traditional media to something new?

Re:So what's next? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28672947)

Shhhh, quiet. Nobody is supposed to say that the emperor has no clothes...

Re:So what's next? (5, Interesting)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28672979)

The problem is most traditional media outlets aren't doing that style of journalism any more. They fire as many of their local people as they can, and rely even more on AP and the intarwebs. Instead of bringing me in-depth local news that I can't get anywhere else and would be willing to pay for, they bring me news that I can find in 470 other locations for free.

Re:So what's next? (4, Interesting)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673159)

And then they wonder why no one wants to pay them $20/mo for a subscription.

You've hit the nail on the head. And this is why I think there will always be a place, albiet much smaller, for traditional reporters.

And that place won't be on dead trees. After all, reporting has nothing to do with the medium it's presented in.

Re:So what's next? (2, Interesting)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673179)

Well you might want local news, but some people want world and national news. I hate it when the local news airs here, for the most part I could care less, I can't imagine going out of my way to read about mundane events in my city, "City losing money", "Local man killed" "Pet adoption on the rise" blah, blah, blah.

Re:So what's next? (4, Insightful)

JPortal (857107) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673315)

What concerns me is that if citizens aren't active in the local government, it'll quickly fall apart and the national government won't even matter. It's important because citizens *can* have a profound impact on their local government, but fewer will do so if there isn't good information out there.

Re:So what's next? (5, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673339)

This is because you're not thinking big enough. Local news is world news: something always happens somewhere. It's a matter of which people care about it. Traditional media has capitalized on high-profile stories that will draw lots of attention ("low-hanging fruit," to use the annoying buzzphrase).

However, this means we're missing a huge chunk of actual world news. While we know of a few major items, we don't know about the aggregate of everything else. How many people died today? Glancing at Google News, you might note that maybe some people died from bombings, and a few others in battle, and maybe a few to flu. But that's a very tiny selection. High profile cases. How many people died in traffic accidents? Or from other disease or poor health? Old age? What regions? What were the numbers?

This is actual interesting information which would probably change our perspective drastically on a lot of issues. Unfortunately it takes a good bit of work to put it together, and it doesn't quite get you glamorous headlines. But it's world news, and the sort of thing that would be worth paying for.

Re:So what's next? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673591)

This is quite an interesting point you make. You're putting forward a distinction between two different types of world news.

A) A single event that affects the entire world (ex: the nasdaq loses 5%)

B) The same local scale event that occurs everywhere in a span of time (ex: 2300 different small armed conflicts killed 3000 people around the world today)

A-type events are covered by traditional media and from a local perspective by bloggers on location

B-type events aren't reported by anyone and are probably inaccessible to traditional media. You're suggesting to aggregate what all the non-traditional sources are reporting to get a global picture of the local events.

Interesting.

Re:So what's next? (4, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673359)

Next time your local government does something that adversely affects you and you feel it totally sucks, think about how that lack of interest among you and the community contributes to that. I'm not saying its all your fault or anything like that. But people who don't take an interest in the goings-on in their community usually end up living in a horrid city with the kind of government they deserve.

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673799)

Next time your local government does something that adversely affects you and you feel it totally sucks, think about how that lack of interest among you and the community contributes to that. I'm not saying its all your fault or anything like that. But people who don't take an interest in the goings-on in their community usually end up living in a horrid city with the kind of government they deserve.

That scales for any size of community. From local city level to international level it is what you do with it.

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673321)

The problem is most traditional media outlets aren't doing that style of journalism any more. They fire as many of their local people as they can, and rely even more on AP and the intarwebs. Instead of bringing me in-depth local news that I can't get anywhere else and would be willing to pay for, they bring me news that I can find in 470 other locations for free.

For those of you lucky enough to have both the Internet AND a TV, in the US, over the air stations are required to air so many hours of local news each day.

What backwoods little town do you come from where you think you're being shorted in-depth local news? You want to find your local news, go kick a state trooper in the nuts. I'd feel bad for him, but you'd find your local media. How in depth do you want it anyway? Maybe nobody gives a damn about some old house that burned down, or the availability of kerosene at the local mom & pop. Are you SURE you don't have a Foo Chronicle, Bar Tribune, Qux Times, or Gonad Weekly where you're from? Not even a monthly newsletter? Do you have any news to report?

You're saying you'd pay for in-depth local news where you currently have none, and I'm calling you a liar. Pick up a local newspaper (it's even cheaper than big media) and stop bullshitting. I'm guessing you don't actually WANT news, but entertainment, AKA /., AKA blogs. You probably feel entitled to that too, since you can get it 27452 other places free.

Re:So what's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673593)

This explains why I quit paying attention to the nearly all sources of news. Most of what's out there is obvious, shallow, uninteresting, and irrelevant.

*groan* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673269)

Which brings up the point again

The best substitute for "begs the question" is not using the construction at all- it's pretentious, wasted verbiage and you're not projecting the education and urbanity you think you are. GB2 ENGL 101, KTHX.

Re:So what's next? (5, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673377)

There is no way of monetising that will keep geeks happy. It's a myth peddled by people who want to justify the morality of blocking every ad, no matter how unintrusive.

The ways of making money:

Subscription - few people are willing to subscribe to a single site.

advertising - adblock. Only cast iron method of getting around it is by putting ads before videos and not displaying any videos until the ad has played through. But not every news site does videos.

Merchandise - CNN don't sell many DVDs and CNN branded T-shirts are hardly going to fly off the shelves.

Donations - People point to Wiki as an example of this being successful but it simply isn't viable for 99% of sites. If people donate at all they donate once and that's it. Wiki survives because of hard campaining for donations and because it looks good for companies to donate to.

Licencing content - when blogs can rip out all the juicy info from an article and just link to the source at the bottom, this simply isn't viable (that and you're moving the revenue problem downstream)

Only possible solution I could see is a subcription service that covers hundreds of sites. You pay $4.99 a month and the money gets divided up between sites based on page views. However this is a nightmare to set up and get people on board and you may find it's about as successful as regular subscriptions.

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673601)

It's a myth peddled by people who want to justify the morality of blocking every ad, no matter how unintrusive.

Forgive me, but that sounds like you *may* be saying that adblocking is immoral? You aren't saying that are you?

I sure hope not, because implied social contracts in which I am obligated to view advertisements are also a myth.

Re:So what's next? (3, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673647)

Yes I am saying it's immoral. It's well known lots of these websites get their revenue from advertising. If the adverts are unintrusive there's little justification for blocking them.

It may not be illegal but that doesn't mean it's moral. You know it's cost them to write and host the material, you know they need advertising revenue to pay for this. Talking about "implied social contracts" doesn't change the fact you are making a moral choice to get the sweat off of someone else's brow without giving them anything in return.

Re:So what's next? (0, Troll)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674013)

Talking about "implied social contracts" doesn't change the fact you are making a moral choice to get the sweat off of someone else's brow without giving them anything in return.

Talking about "immorality" doesn't change the fact that they are making an informed choice to give me the sweat off their brow for nothing in return.

In other words any webserver is quite capable of refusing to serve content without advertising. That a company chooses to serve up ad-free content is their decision alone. Whether they do it out of good-will, convenience or just plain ignorance of their own technical capabilities, doesn't make a difference.

Or more succinctly: You can't blame a guy for asking.

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674319)

This is always going to be a hotly-debated topic.

Newspapers generate revenue to help fund their business by having ads on their page, yet if I flip past the full-page, right-facing ad for 'Product X', no one's going to cry 'foul' and insist I turn back and read the ad in full.

I have freedom of choice to read, or not read, ads in print - and I take steps to exercise that freedom online too.

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673975)

It is not a damn myth, it is a moral position. Some people may think it is an obligation, others think it is not.

Re:So what's next? (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674201)

The myth refers to the idea that sites can still make money to cover wages and costs if their ads are blocked. The idea that it's the news site's own fault for using 'outdated' practices and not ones that could make them money.

I thought that was kind of inferred by the way I then proceeded to explain why pretty much every other way of generating revenue isn't viable for most sites.

Re:So what's next? (1)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673491)

crowdsourced news is all that stuff being sent out from Iran, right? Where can I tune into that?

P.S., I am a busy guy, so can I have some digestible bite-sized chunks of meat please. Not too raw, but well done please.

Hey lookie, the NYT doesn't cost much, and I can read it while I commute home. (More people should try reading during the commute, methinks). Or podcasts like NPR offers, etc. (note, haven't tried any podcasts myself).

Re:So what's next? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673835)

Hey lookie, the NYT doesn't cost much, and I can read it while I commute home. (More people should try reading during the commute, methinks).

That would work if I would read a paper and drive, and I can (even legally I think) but I am not going to. Not everyone has public or even group transportation methods, and they don't have this free time of a commute.

Re:So what's next? (1)

skilledbachelor (862856) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673501)

The last para of the article: "Even from last fall to today, the dynamics of the news cycle are very different, because of Twitter"

Re:So what's next? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673705)

hen we'll have nothing left but crowdsourced news. Which is OK in a riot or a protest, but otherwise does not come with the depth of research from a good, non-lazy journalist that does his or her homework

you mean repeating verbatim various corporate press releases and giving more coverage to dogmatic wackos than factual dissection?

That's what's passing for main stream media now so far as complex issues are concerned.

Meme Theory Simplified (1)

broward (416376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673759)

I posted my first Meme Graph and reference here on Slashdot back in 2006.
What comes next?
We go from measurement to manipulation.

http://www.realmeme.com/roller/page/realmeme?entry=meme_theory [realmeme.com]

Diffraction is my term for measuring how well a new meme captures more bandwdith. In a Quality-Of-Service network, bandwidth always has contention and grabbing more bandwidth is difficult. If you understand how to grab bandwidth through meme patterns, you can propagate your information ahead of others.

News gathering and publishing will have to rescale (1)

superposed (308216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674001)

There's not as much money in newspaper advertising as there used to be, and this will inevitably lead to a reduction in the amount of news being collected and the number of printed newspapers.

In the old days, your local newspaper(s) had a monopoly or oligopoly on display and classified advertising. This gave them enough money to hire a local reporting staff, and in some cases, to set up remote bureaus. The smaller papers relied on wire services or news agencies for their national or international news, and the bigger papers gathered some of this for themselves. Often there was enough advertising revenue to support two or more newspapers in the same town.

Now, many readers have switched from printed newspapers to the Internet, drying up the display ad revenue (newspapers make money selling readers to advertisers, not selling news to readers). The websites don't get nearly so much revenue per ad-view as the printed papers did. Meanwhile craigslist has grabbed the classified ads. So now each person who reads a story doesn't bring in nearly as much ad revenue as they used to. What's going to happen?

I think a big consolidation is inevitable -- the amount of original news reporting will have to be reduced, so that more people read each story, and the ad revenue per story returns to a high enough level to support the cost of writing it. All the newspapers will lose money for a while, until most of them have failed or radically restructured (e.g., going online-only and closing any remote bureaus). At that point, all national and international news will probably be gathered by a few national wire services, a few national TV networks, and maybe a couple of major national papers. All the other papers, websites and TV stations will rely on these sources for their "content". There will probably also be a big reduction in local reporting, except in the biggest cities. But each original story will be so widely disseminated that the revenue from teeth-whitening ads on Yahoo.com, Applebee's ads on sfgate.com, and Macy's ads in a few dozen local papers will be enough to cover the cost of reporting it.

This is depressing if you care about having a diversity of news sources, but it is probably unavoidable. There just isn't enough ad revenue to support as much news reporting as we have now.

Not surprising (2, Insightful)

fatp (1171151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28672955)

I don't know what's the point of this finding. Do they think 2.5 hours is too fast or too slow?

This seems pretty fast for me. Most bloggers are not in 1st person contact of the event. It is understandable that they will not know the event before the media talks about that. They will also not immediate login their blog immediately to write their post. They can even write a post several days later!

It would be more interesting to study the fastest of the blog posts, say 5%, and see whether they beat the media.

Re:Not surprising (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28672975)

The point is that a lot of people are claiming the MSM is obsolete and blogs are the way of the future -- I think I've seen a good thirty /. posts to that effect in just the last month -- and this study pretty clearly shows that it isn't true.

Blogs still *are* the wave of the future (0)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673041)

The point is that a lot of people are claiming the MSM is obsolete and blogs are the way of the future

It's just that in the future, you'll get your news 2.5 hours later....

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

superposed (308216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674105)

The point is that a lot of people are claiming the MSM is obsolete and blogs are the way of the future ... and this study pretty clearly shows that it isn't true.

I thought that would be the point of the story when I read it, but the story doesn't actually mention this issue at all. The researchers mostly seem to be interested in understanding how stories become popular, and the roles that blogs and traditional media play in that process.

In the original paper [memetracker.org] (e.g., Figure 8), they report that there is a 2.5 hour lag between the peak of reporting on a story in the media in general and the peak of discussion in the blogs in general.

They also report the typical time lag for individual news outlets or blogs (Table 1), and show that a few individual blogs (e.g., hotair.com and talkingpointsmemo.com) have tend to report stories before individual media outlets. However, even this doesn't show that news appears in blogs before it appears in the media -- some individual blogs tend to report big stories before individual news outlets, but that may be because (a) they pull stories from many news outlets, so they will inevitably have an earlier average reporting time than any individual news outlet, and (b) the early-mover blogs play a role in determining which stories become popular, even if they aren't the first to report them.

Unfortunately, I didn't see any graph that tracked the earliest appearance of a story in any media outlet, and the earliest appearance of the same story in any blog, and compared the times of those appearances. That would be the way to really answer the question of who is reporting first. And I bet it's the media, by many hours.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28674571)

Tracking the earliest appearance of a story is problematic and subjective. The advantage of the 'peak' reporting approach is that by the peak of the reporting of a story, the story itself has substance and has a more settled form. By contrast, the first appearance of a story (Mark Sanford not being in the office for a few days, for example, or the early expenses impropriety of the Speaker of the House of Commons) is only the 'first appearance' in retrospect.

(In my mind this seems to invoke sort of an inverse of the way radioactive decay is measured in half-lives)

Re:Not surprising (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673025)

I suspect it is too fast.

Print media should vet and organise news articles. The internet is a disorganised mess of unverified stuff.

Re:Not surprising (5, Informative)

Asdanf (1281936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673065)

It would be more interesting to study the fastest of the blog posts, say 5%, and see whether they beat the media.

Fortunately, the researchers agree with you and did just that [memetracker.org] . And it turns out that some blogs do usually break stories before the MSM. I wonder why the NYTimes didn't lead with that finding...

Re:Not surprising (1)

gilbert644 (1515625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673587)

comparing the average speed of the traditional media with the fastest blog isn't a worthwhile static. The fastest blogs vs. the fastest traditional media outlets maybe but that's not what you are linking.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673723)

Yes it is, either that or cnn has had some drastic budget cuts recently.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674303)

And it turns out that some blogs do usually break stories before the MSM.

Its kind of sad that almost all of those blogs which "lead the news" are political blogs with big-time political agendas rather than, say, science blogs or something that I can read without being constantly hit over the head with a half-retarded point of view.

Frosty Pists (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28672967)

suck my ginormous cock

Not really (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28672981)

It's not exactly true that the "lipstick on a pig" phrase originated with Obama. McCain had said the line in speeches during the primary before Obama did.

Slashdot screws the average. (3, Funny)

prichardson (603676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28672983)

The problem is also that they averaged in slashdot with the other blogs. Without Slashdot's "yesterday's news today" and week-old repeats I'm sure the blog average would be higher.

Re:Slashdot screws the average. (2, Interesting)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673099)

Nice one (and frighteningly accurate). Comparing traditional media to an average of blog speed is not exceptionally useful.

Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673019)

Of course bloggers follow "Traditional" media... The NYTimes needs to publish it before all the bloggers start copying the story...

"Lipstick on a pig" (-1, Offtopic)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673029)

That phrase certainly didn't originate during the campaign. I heard it in the context of describing attempts to make Windows look better at least five years ago, and it probably predates that usage as well.

-jcr

Re:"Lipstick on a pig" (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673295)

That's a very old phrase, goes back to the early 20th century. I think they were just stating the current use of it stemming from that instance.

Re:"Lipstick on a pig" (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673347)

That phrase certainly didn't originate during the campaign.

They never said it did.

I heard it in the context of ...

Ah context. That's precisely what's at issue here. The article was referring to the phrase strictly in the context of the Obama campaign news cycle.

Re:"Lipstick on a pig" (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673871)

I didn't understand the "lipstick on a pig" phrase at all, but I have LITERALLY done it. Makes the pig have tastier bacon, ham, and pork when done hours before taking it to be processed.

Uhm (1)

Maudib (223520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673043)

Thats it?

I really would have hoped for better.

Re:Uhm (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673277)

Holy shit, I can't believe that you've not been modded +5 insightful.

Seriously, this is the most informative and non-vague piece of prose I've ever read.

Sincerely,
Sarcastic Cat. Meow.

It took them this long? (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673047)

... tracking some 90 million articles and blog posts which appeared from August through October 2008 on 1.6 million mainstream media sites and blogs.

It took them 8 months to come up with the results?

Film at 11 (2, Funny)

neiras (723124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673061)

I think the blogger thought process goes something like this.

CNN has a BREAKING NEWS headline. Quick! I'll post it on my blog and the huddled masses on the Internet will look up to me for being so much better informed than they are!"

All they want is your respect! They want to stand out in a crowd! THEY HEARD IT FIRST! The proof is right there, in their wordpress history!

"Traditional" must not mean 'the paper' (4, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673075)

....because newspapers can't even ink their presses in 2.5 hours. Seriously. If the President was assassinated at 1PM today, the soonest any paper could publish anything about it would be maybe 5 hours later; assuming they put out a special edition. For all other severities of news, it's usually at least 24 hours old. I am guessing this study only included TV and web sites otherwise newspapers would drastically wonk the numbers.

Re:"Traditional" must not mean 'the paper' (4, Informative)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673155)

For the newspaper, it would be the time it took for the journalists to write/gather the stories, the sub-editors to layout the page in InDesign, and most importantly for the advertising department to sell some very expensive ad space.

On the printing side, every 2 colour pages in a Broadsheet newspaper takes 4 printing plates (Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow), 4 plates take around 5-7 minutes to produce.

It doesn't take anywhere near 2.5 hours to ink the press, more like 10 minutes.

You're correct that it won't be anywhere near as fast as the Internet, but for a very big event they could have a special edition out in an hour or two (depending on pages, number of copies etc.)

Re:"Traditional" must not mean 'the paper' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28674187)

It's called an "extra," not a "special edition" - as in "EXTRA, extra! Read all about it!"

Well, duh? (4, Insightful)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673101)

I hate the "main-stream media" as much as any one (watching CNN irritates the hell out of me - if I wanted to read Twitter, Rick Sanchez, I would get on the Internet!) and don't even get me started on Fox.

But this is obvious - there is very little original research going on the Web (the one counter example are the Abu Ghraib pictures as I remember those being posted to Live Journal long before they hit the rest of the media world). It's more of a sounding chamber for things already being reported - commentary more than original research.

My biggest fear is that the mainstream media is moving in the same direction - closing local branches, relying on Twitter and the Facebook, this competitive advantage that the media has is slowly being dissolved, by itself.

Re:Well, duh? (3, Informative)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673273)

Demotix [demotix.com] is pretty cool.
From the site

'Demotix is a citizen-journalism website and photo agency. It takes user-generated content (UGC) and photographs from freelance journalists and amateurs, and markets them to the mainstream media. Demotix was founded with two principles at its heart - the freedom of speech and the freedom to know. Its objective is nothing if not ambitious - to rescue journalism and promote free expression by connecting independent journalists with the traditional media. Demotix now has over 5000 members, in 110 countries around the world from Afghanistan to Zambia. '

It is a halfway house between the blogosphere and traditional media.

Re:Well, duh? (2, Interesting)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673795)

Not true. The financial crisis (the reality of it, not just the optimism parts) has been much better covered by blogs than by traditional media.

Newspapers. (1)

eBayDoug (764290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673129)

There is no new, or news, in the newspaper. Maybe they should change the name? News comes from Tipsters.

2.5 hours lead time is nothing (3, Funny)

jsse (254124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673133)

Traditional news sometime can even lead the reality. [prisonplanet.com] Bloggers simply cannot top them without psychic or divine intervention.

Re:2.5 hours lead time is nothing (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673357)

God forbid the confusion of two of the biggest buildings holding stock trading companies being rammed by airliners should lead to a mis-report of which buildings were damaged!

If Building 7 was damaged, maybe the BBC inked the story before it occured so they'd have the "breaking news" on that, and pre-released by mistake?

Or, of course, Haliburton and the Rockerfeller's are manipulating the media for personal gain. I'm not trolling, it's potentially true. We won't know about it in our lifetime, though.

Re:2.5 hours lead time is nothing (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673659)

Traditional news sometime can even lead the reality. [prisonplanet.com]

If this is a swiftian joke, it's cute, otherwise, move along, nothing to see here..

Although there is no clock or time stamp on the footage, the source claims the report was given at 4:57pm EST, 23 minutes before Building 7 collapsed at 5:20pm. While the exact time of the report cannot be confirmed at present

Finding blogs that quote? (1)

psy (88244) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673135)

By finding catch phrases (quotes) you find the blogs that quote the news paper article.

What about specific events where there isnt a catch phrase, wouldnt those be excluded by the way the matching works?

Re:Finding blogs that quote? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673399)

They would be excluded but, providing the chance of a story having an identifying quote is largely random it doesn't matter a huge amount statistically .

Self-serving crap (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673207)

Oh, yeah...the New York Times, the poster child for Old Media, does a story and finds that they are better than the competition. Sorry, but I'd sooner believe an online pharmacy that did a survey and found that it was better than the competition. But, since it has the NYT name on it, the people in the know nod sagely and agree. Anyone shouting "the emperor has no clothes" is deemed as not part of the in-group and escorted to the door, never to be invited to the best parties again.

CIA would pay $$$ for this kind of study (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673251)

How to shape with twitter in near real time. Iran was a good test run for that. 1000's of fake pro 'green' Iran bursts all at the same time, to get the topic as number one.
All pre package and ready to look 'organic'.
Then track and promote the end losers who fall for it and become the real grass roots.
US Ethno-Political Conflict Simulator: Influencing Leaders and Followers, 3 Oct 2006 should give slashdot readers a taste of the fun the US gov has in the 3rd world.
The only question is what is been done in the USA via data like this?
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/US_Ethno-Political_Conflict_Simulator:_Influencing_Leaders_and_Followers%2C_3_Oct_2006 [wikileaks.org]

Re:CIA would pay $$$ for this kind of study (0, Troll)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673531)

Change you can Believe In?

Re:CIA would pay $$$ for this kind of study (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673733)

I'm not sure what "taste of the fun the US gov has in the 3rd world" you're talking about here. That's a presentation on a simulation system to try to predict how those sorts of decisions are going to turn out, not some shocking leak that - stop the fucking presses - the US government intervenes in international conflicts in ways that benefit the US. Given the incredible awfulness of the presentation, I'm not sure that it's influenced the real world beyond getting that guy research grants by bamboozling the Air Force into thinking he's on to something.

How is this news? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673309)

Many bloggers comment on the news, but not all bloggers are investigative reporters looking to be the first to break a story. They're just expressing their opinion on the events, when they happen to hear about them.

If you crawl 90 million articles on blogs and newspapers and average all the times, of course the blogs will be hours behind.

NY Times is intentionally missing the point, to make themselves feel more relevant.

Fixed (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673337)

NY Times is intentionally missing the point, to make their advertisers feel more relevant.

Duh...

And this is a good thing!? (1)

puroresu (1585025) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673407)

If the "traditional" media believes this to be a good thing then they're hammering another nail into their own coffin. The fact of the matter is that good journalism takes time. Sure, speed is one element of news reporting, but it trails accuracy and clarity in terms of importance.

Much of the "traditional" media also seems to be mistakenly pursuing "balance" as some ultimate goal. This consists of finding two sides to any issue, despite the fact that it may be far more nuanced than this, and giving both of them equal time and credence, whether or not they deserve it. This is all slotted into a sixty second package which tells viewers almost nothing, then repeated ad nauseum until interest in the story completely dies, or something more important happens, like a celebrity farting.

Um, huh, what? (3, Insightful)

ysth (1368415) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673485)

blogs by and large are about ideas, not news, so it seems like this is an apples and oranges study, discovering (surprise, surprise) that apples are more like apples than oranges are. Now maybe if the study had compared editorials to blogs...

Re:Um, huh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28674579)

Ideas, or rapidshare links.

Statements & Interviews (2, Interesting)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673487)

Hardly surprising.

The study measured the time that ideas/memes/stories took to come out. Given that nowadays a large number of "stories" are released by politicians/companies and most do so in a tightly controlled way, usually by means of "statements to the press" or "interviews".

Guess who gets the press passes or the interviews? The press, not the bloggers.

That said, blogs are almost entirely opinion pieces: they don't break the news, instead they give us the blogger's personal interpretations of the news (or opinion over the state of something or something-else in the world).

The best blogs are those which analyze multiple news and events and bring them together with other knowledge to show us the patterns and flows behind the public facade: in a sense, investigative journalism on the cheap (they don't usually validate the sources).

So... (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673499)

How long does traditional news media trail behind TotalFark?

The study is misleading (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28673517)

If you define "news" as stories like "lipstick on a pig," of course Old Media is going to lead. They invented those stories in the first place, pulling memes out of their collective asses and headlining them in explosions of inanity, while ignoring real issues. If the study focused on phrases like "obama secrecy," "12 trillion to banks," or "single-payer healthcare," I doubt Old Media would even register.

depends heavily on a lot of things.. (2, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673625)

I'm sure all of us have looked at digg once or twice and there are blog posts that get made quite popular there, develop a following and then end up in the paper.
In fact anything that originates on the internet is likely to be reported about first in a blog than "traditional media".
Many local stories might end up getting reported about first on a blog before "traditional media" if they're not high profile. The news has to get a reporter there first. then film it or write it. A blogger can see it, and do it right away if they have a smartphone or as soon as they get home/to a pc.

Re:depends heavily on a lot of things.. (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674183)

Blogs report quick & dirty facts.
Newspapers report facts (most of the time) with a little background detail (Why, What, When, Who, Where).
Magazines report opinions and analysis of facts covered by Newspapers.
TV stations report sensationlism. Octomom, Angelina Jolie, etc.
Wading through all this for NEWS is difficult.
I can't sue a Newspaper or a Magazine for false reporting. I sure can sue a Blogger.

It says something that blogs are more reliable.. (4, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28673639)

News organizations lead blogs, it's true, but they suffer repeated embarrassment as respondants do actual fact checking.

Maybe the lesson here is they should hold their tongues and do real investigations into the issues they cover and offer balanced analysis rather than regurgitate press releases or empty ideological sound bytes.

Blogs would lose relevance quickly if the news sources themselves provided this analysis along with truly open, community moderated, meta-moderated, and meta-meta-moderated response columns to help add any unmentioned perspectives, updates, or corrections.

If traditional outlets don't take the time to properly research and compose their stories and don't offer true opportunities for community feedback they will always run second string to the likes of slashdot, reddit, and the daily show.

Maybe that's because they have reporters. (2, Insightful)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674131)

99% of the content of blogs is personal blather or links to other stuff on the web. BFD. News organizations actually -- here's a shock -- gather the news, with people who are paid to do it.

retractions (2, Insightful)

daveb (4522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674145)

although most news flowed from the traditional media to the blogs, 3.5 percent of story lines originated in the blogs and later made their way to traditional media.

I wonder what percentage were later retracted as completely bogus. Jeff Goldblume might be able to point out one recent issue

Hmm (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674341)

It's nice to know the people being paid to do their jobs are a little faster than those who do it for free, eh?

Define 'News' (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674351)

You have to define 'news' pretty carefully to make this claim true.

If you only look at stories that were on Mainstream Media, then their numbers are probably pretty close.

If you look at news reported by bloggers, MSM doesn't even report the vast majority of it. 'New KDE Release' has -never- been on MSM, yet it's 'news' to me and I value the information.

Re:Define 'News' (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674427)

You also have to take into account corporate media's enormous shift away from traditional reporting and towards pure entertainment in the past couple of decades. "Obama Submits SCOTUS Nominee" is news. "Exclusive Photos of Obama at the Beach" is not.

Coincidence (1)

ianalis (833346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674405)

I just presented this paper earlier. We're working on another paper related to this long before this paper was published. It's based on my master's thesis. Stay tuned!

Heavily flawed (2)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28674527)

After reading through the paper, I see it's clear the authors didn't test news content at all, just soundbites. So for example, they search for the Sarah Palin quote:

"Our opponent is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." ...and close derivatives of if on Google News, then on blogs to see where it appeared first. The problem with this methodology is that traditional media tended to report the quote uncritically, while the blogs took it and dissected it. In other words, corporate "news" media did fuck-all for reporting on the topic. The blogs did actual reporting work and found out that Palin was stretching the truth (surprise!), examined the facts behind her claim, and generally did the work mainstream media failed to do themselves.

So the bottom line is, if you want to know who can regurgitate phrases faster, the paper makes it clear that mainstream media is the obvious winner. If you want in-depth reporting, look to the web.

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