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Announcement of Labour's Twitter Tsar - New Media Meets Old - Mark Hanson [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mark Hanson

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Announcement of Labour's Twitter Tsar - New Media Meets Old [Aug. 16th, 2009|08:51 pm]
Mark Hanson
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You weren't supposed to see that Kerry McCarthy has been appointed as Labour's new media campaign figurehead until tomorrow. A handful of the newspapers were given the story under embargo for tomorrow, Labour bloggers were to be briefed on it tonight as its very, very important that those people hear it first, rather than finding out about it in the press. Labourlist, one of the largest Labour blog sites would run a very detailed 2,000 word Q&A with McCarthy tonight.

However the Guardian inadvertently published their story, written by political journalist, Allegra Stratton, for tomorrow's paper, online. As soon as it appeared many of Kerry's huge band of Twitter followers saw the news and immediately starting congratulating her and Retweeting the Guardian link. There were 50 Tweets in about 10 minutes. Amazing!

Of course this hacks off the hacks who are dutifully observing the embargo, including the Inde's Michael Savage, so Allegra Stratton was tracked down to A&E where she was awaiting treatment on crippling back pain and was horrified to find her news desk has slipped the story onto the website. She immediately emailed her news ed, Stephen Kahn, who took the story down.

As Allegra herself said: ''this is a very modern parable - new media meets old media''.

Tweetminster creator, Alberto Nardelli made a good point via Twitter....

-@kerrymp should have just made the announcement, and all the media would have picked it up anyway :)

and the last word should go to Kerry....

Just got back from a pleasant two hours at @wshed to discover everyone on Twitter knows what it's the papers ahead of me!

From: doubting_rich
2009-08-16 09:59 pm (UTC)

Will you never learn?

Will the old media never learn that they have the power, before you lose that power? That they hold the strong hand with politicians? Why are they agreeing to an embargo? As you said, it is a good point that Alberto Nardelli made.

Very occasionally accepting an exclusive story under embargo is always going to happen, and if it is in a news source that is known to favour the organisation releasing the story I cannot see the harm. When multiple competing news sources agree to an embargo, that is collusion, creating a false market in the most important commodity for democracy, information. The Independent, Guardian and any others briefed were helping Labour manage their news agenda.

That is not the role of newspapers!

It tells us, the mere reading public (the customer, the voter) that the media are in collusion with those in power, more interested in keeping them sweet to be in the next round of briefings than challenging or investigating those in authority.
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