Blogging as disseminator

CJR Daily has an interesting example of the way blogs can take an ignored mainstream news story and create a buzz. Peter G. Gosselin, who covers the economy for the Los Angeles Times, wrote three articles examining “an American paradox”: Why do so many families report less financial security than ever, even as many benchmarks indicate a nation grown more prosperous?

In spite of Gosselin’s extensive research and the extensive readership of LA Times the story seemed to sink pretty quickly. Enter stage left the bloggers:

Gosselin, who works in the Times‘ Washington bureau, spent a year gathering data and speaking with economists, statisticians, benefits experts, and workers and their families who unexpectedly had the financial rug pulled out from under them. Their stories provided a starkly different picture of an “ownership society” than the portrait drawn by President Bush.

By Gosselin’s own account, despite the Los Angeles Times‘ daily circulation of over one million, the stories generated almost no response for months. That is, until he recently sent out a link to them to a handful of liberal bloggers, including Kevin Drum, who writes the widely read “Political Animal” blog on Drum’s post, in turn, generated several other blog mentions, including one from J. Bradford DeLong.

I got wind of this from Howard Kurtz column in the Washington Post. So I guess in a sense the information has come full circle. Its a fascinating example of the way that blogs and MSM can work in synergy and helps take us beyond the hype over blogger led reporting.

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