Drudge shows how to do news
For all the millions of dollars and thousands of people employed at the mainstream newspapers, broadcast networks and cable channels, Drudge had assembled the perfect mix of salient links and real-time information, including:
:: A chart tracing the queasy plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average.
:: The live CSPAN feed of the House vote on the $700 billion rescue plan, which unfortunately was overwhelmed and periodically unavailable – the feed, that is, not the House.
:: The first actual vote results.
:: Key financial news like the Wachovia take-over, the Fed effort to pump additional billions into the credit system and a global market wrap-up.
:: The quickest political reaction – replete with a jab at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, because Drudge on even his best day [sigh] is still Drudge.
As usual, Drudge provided all this information – plus news of an earthquake in New Zealand, the latest campaign developments and a weird sculpture show in China – in a simple, uncluttered, format characterized by an economy of words and a few visual cues.
It is true that Drudge depends enormously on the mainstream media to populate his site. If the MSM suddenly dried up and blew away, Drudge wouldn’t have nearly as much to Report.
But with all due respect to the penetrating stories, elegant writing and dazzling multimedia presentations the mainstream media create, they can’t get the hang of delivering breaking news when their readers/viewers – and potential reader/viewers – most crave instant enlightenment.
By effectively conceding this opportunity to sites like Drudge, the mainstream media forfeit in significant measure their value and credibility, which, in turn, will constrain future audience growth and revenue prospects.
When are they going to learn how to compete?