Media Gives Life To Old Stories Through Blogsploitation

from the mutating-story-angle dept

The media’s affinity with blog-related stories is nothing new, often going out of the way to hype a seemingly straightforward or boring story with the “blog” buzzword. Now they’re taking this step one further — using the blog angle to dredge up an old story and make it sound new again. One that is currently making the rounds is the Chinese government’s plan to police blogs and other web forums. The story is pretty old, actually, but back then it only mentioned websites and didn’t get much play. Enter a new spin from Reporters Without Borders, which issued a press release saying that the government will shut down “all China-based websites and blogs not officially registered.” (Emphasis added.) The media generously picked up on this angle, simultaneously creating a new story and whipping bloggers into a frenzy. This phenomenon harkens back to news on the McCain-Feingold Act, when a federal court’s decision to apply the law to online speech (against the intentions of the law and the Federal Election Commission) barely registered a blip in February. Last week, the same story got resurrected with the blogging angle, and voila, new story and controversy. It seems the media has stumbled on its most productive use of blogs yet: If a story doesn’t get much attention the first time around, convince bloggers that the authorities are coming after them.

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