Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept and Matt Taibbi’s as-yet-unnamed publication (I’m hoping he calls it “Perseus”) at First Look Media. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com.
I suspect these are the vanguard of the next era in news media. Blogs and bloggers were reactionary, responding to mainstream publications’ movements and coverage. But with Greenwald and Silver so far, I’m seeing a vitality in reporting that hasn’t existed in decades, if ever. (To be clear: other outlets are doing similar work as well. I just picked these as my examples, as they were the inspiration for my thinking.)
I also suspect that news organizations as part of conglomerate corporations are going to struggle to keep up with these new publications. They were better off with the bloggers. At least bloggers could be dismissed as wearing their pajamas all day. These people wear a suit and tie – or a pantsuit – to work. And they are actually working. Original research, analysis, and reporting promise to be the order of the day. I can’t wait to see where this all leads.
Over on my Official Blog, I take a look at the legal implications of the DOJ obtaining the phone records of the AP. (TL;DR: we don’t know enough yet; probably legal, icky.)
Looking to the bigger picture, it is difficult to get too bent out of shape about this happening to the AP. They, and most other news organizations, the erstwhile guardians of the freedom of the press, at best stood idly by, and at their worst actively encouraged, this sort of government intrusion during the darkest years of the Bush Presidency, gives this mess a soupçon of Schadenfreude.
That being said, no matter what the outcome of any investigations or whether there was a warrant properly issued or not, the chilling effect on the press and on leakers will be enormous. And that may just be the point.