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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

VT-Sen: GOP Astroturf Blog Uncovered

Posted by DavidNYC

In my Blogger Spotlight interview, I made the following observation:

Q: How do you see the new media and old media affecting and influencing each other in the next five years?

A: In the traditional media, you have outlets like the New York Times and outlets like the New York Post. One is reputable, the other isn't, and everyone's figured out which is which by now. The same is true of the blogging world: You have Times-style blogs and Post-style blogs. Most bloggers try to verify what they post; some peddle in rumor. Most blogs are run by honest folks; some are run by paid shills.

My biggest concern, though, is that the traditional media will fail to distinguish between the two. I think we saw this happen in 2004 in South Dakota, where bloggers who were on campaign payrolls were wrongly treated as independent sources. When a story appears to originate in the blogosphere, traditional media reporters need to ask, "Is the source reputable? Is it a Times or a Post?" And if you can't answer in the affirmative, then pass on the story. This isn't always an easy question to answer, but one good place to start is the list of past winners of the Koufax Awards.

Who knew the next astroturf Republican blog would be discovered so quickly? Kudos to Peter Freyne of Seven Days, "Vemont's Alternative Webweekly," for sleuthing this one out (and to Kagro X for bringing it to our attention).

Posted at 06:10 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Vermont | Technorati

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