New Media Thwart Edwards, Olympics

Masses now the arbiter of news
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2008 10:50 AM CDT
Chinese police officers take pictures of fireworks outside the cordoned off Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008.    (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – The mainstream media aren't the arbiter of news anymore—every man, woman, and child with a mouse is, according to David Carr of the New York Times. For proof, look no further than the Olympics opening ceremonies or the John Edwards scandal. No matter how hard it tried, NBC couldn’t prevent footage of the ceremonies from leaking, nor could mainstream indifference kill the blogger-driven Edwards story.

“Information not only wants to be free, its consumers are cunning, connected, and will find a workaround on any defense that can be conceived,” writes Carr. In both cases things worked out well; the Edwards story turned out to be true, and the Beijing ceremony was among the most-watched ever thanks to positive online buzz—proof that the media shouldn’t always fear losing their powers.