Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Lessons from the saga of LonelyGirl15: Mainstream media + blogosphere = mediasphere on steroids

Posted by Tom Foremski - September 13, 2006

At SVW we're lucky to break the story of the identity of LonelyGirl15 before others. We were fortunate, thanks to the work of my son, Matt Foremski, to connect the dots ahead of others--maybe by just a few hours.

There are many that worked on this story from the beginning when it was discovered that LG15 was a fake. Some were "citizen journalists"; some were mainstream media professionals. SVW straddled the two; and there is still more to be discovered about this story.

There are many who deserve credit for figuring out that LG15 was a manufactured product, especially those who tracked the IP address of emails to a Hollywood talent agency.

But this is not a story about an actress acting out a script. This is a story with a  larger message: it shows how  a partnership between mainstream media and blogger media can produce real results, real fast.

Both groups took the story further, building off each other's work.

This was in no way the blogosphere versus the mainstream media. It was a great example of how the two groups can work together, to uncover information that others tried to hide.

Yes, the subject matter of this story was not about anything that matters that much. But imagine this same type of cooperation on really important stories--that's what excites me.

There is always intense competition to be first with a story--but that is good. And it is complimentary competition rather than adversarial. There is no such thing as bloggers versus mainstream media.

This is the media model for the future: a mediasphere that uses the best qualities of professional media combined with relentless pursuit of information by citizen journalists. That's a potent formula that bodes well for our society, IMHO.

. . .

Please see:

Mark Glaser at MediaShift: Matt Foremski’s Sleuthing Leads to Jessica Rose

How the secret identity of LonelyGirl15 was found

The Hunt for LonelyGirl15- Life in a blogger household

SVW Exclusive: The identity of LonelyGirl15

LonelyGirl15 faked . . .

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