in Journalism

Drudge Factor Re-Visited

„This is the most exciting moment in the history of news. Anyone from anywhere can cover anything. And send it out to everyone,“ writes Matt Drudge in his Manifesto.

Ten years ago, the Internet’s protégé independent journalist Matt Drudge launched the Drudge Report from his L.A. apartment coupled with a 486 Packard Bell computer and phone line. His Web space provides links to other news articles online, but also produces a fair amount of exclusive content, most noteworthy, the exclusive post of Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky that lead to his impeachment. What Drudge opened up was the era of the citizen press without editors, “rejecting the corporate notion of news – controlling news cycles, embargoing things, killing stories,” adds Drudge in his book.

01/17/98 21:32:02 PST – NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN XXXXX BLOCKBUSTER REPORT: 23-YEAR-OLD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN, SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT.

Most of the criticism Drudge still receives is his inaccuracy, an aspect of the news profession that requires time and effort. And that he spreads gossip on the Internet. With the spread of webloggers and their participation in the citizen press, Drudge said in an interview with Camille Paglia that he doesn’t view himself as a blogger, rather as an independent voice who challenges Big Media. The key difference between his site and those of webloggers is the format, because webloggers challenge Big Media just as well.

Drudge, M. (2000). Drudge Manifesto. New York, New York: New American Library.

Scott, E. (2004). Big Media Meets the Bloggers: Coverage of Trent Lott’s Remarks at Strom Thurmond’s Birthday. Cambridge, MA: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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