For those that live by the 24-hour news cycle: a lesson from David Paterson

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Sometimes people are so focused on the 24-hour news cycle, they miss the bigger picture. Take, for instance, David Paterson and his fall. The NY Times lobbed a series of investigative pieces against him, but after the first few, bloggers and analysts assumed that there was no big news. My how wrong they were. Today, many from both sides of the political spectrum are calling for his resignation.

NY Times expertly published this series of stories. They created hype, excitement, and anticipation with each edition. They turned the standard news cycle on its head, and will be handsomely rewarded for it. Hopefully we’ll see more journalism that abandons the 24-hour cycle and instead focuses on the rigorous, investigative reports that take longer than 1 day.

The one piece of journalism that comes to mind is Woodward and Bernstein’s work on Watergate. Similarly, the news took time to develop, but once it did it brought down the house. It seems like that type of journalism isn’t around anymore, and it takes something like this from the New York Times to remind people.

Let’s review the timeline…

2/12 – Rumors boil over about an upcoming NYTimes exposé about David Paterson, who says “”Human decency, if not journalistic ethics, I think would compel an organization, when they see a person being slandered … to clear the air… so I could be out of my misery”

2/17 – NY Times publishes a piece about the shady past (including a felony) of his closest aide David Johnson. NY Mag says “it doesn’t come close to the wild rumors that have been simmering for the past month”.

2/19 – NY Times publishes a piece criticizing his campaigning, hiring practices, and work habits. Still, scoffers say “another Paterson bombshell that doesn’t explode.

2/25 – NY Times hammers home the final nail with accusations that Paterson used his influence to protect the same aide from recent charges of domestic assault.

2/26 – Paterson announces he is dropping out of the race for governor.

For me, I hope to stop relying as much on the 24-hour news cycle to generate ideas for this blog, and move more into organically created topics.

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