These discussions about what an online right should look like seems to miss several points. There are distinct problems, and they need to be handled seperately. Some of these problems need to be solved organically, some will require time, but some can be solved somewhat mechanically.

One of the things that we need to solve immediately and may be susceptible to a mechanical solution is the crisis of information. The crisis of information is that righty information outlets are having incrementally less influence on the news cycle than lefty ones. The chart is from this WSJ story about the rise of the lefty blogs and specifically Huffington Post vis-a-vis Drudge. TPM, Chris Cillizza, Howard Kurtz, Halperin and others have been talking about this also.

On the list above, Townhall, Michelle Malkin, Newsbusters, and Redstate were the only sites to demonstrate triple-digit growth during the last election period, and only Redstate’s and Newsbusters’ was truly explosive. (full disclosure: I am a front-page contributor to both of those)

But I don’t want to focus on traffic, but rather a related question: who drives the news cycle? This used to be Drudge and still is to a great degree. But any experience watching this electoral cycle will tell you that TPM and Huffington Post are essential in setting narratives and forcing campaigns and other political actors to respond to specific reported and sourced information and distributing it quickly. With that in mind, let’s look at something Mark Tapscott said:

But I want to offer a third essential element in addition to punditry and activism. The RightRoots must make a top priority of equiping vastly more of our sites with the reportorial and investigative skills required to dig up and present credible exposes, fact-based analyses and concrete news stories.

In short, we’ve complained about liberal media bias for decades, but now that the mainstream media is steadily being displaced by online media, many of us need to become ….. journalists, or capable of doing the online analogy of traditional journalism, particularly in its investigative phase.

I would state this slightly differently. Stories are started online with HuffPo and TPM. They are completed on TV and in the newspapers. We are playing in no part of that process. One of the reasons for that is that there is no reliable place to go for fact-based conservative perspective.

This is something that we could do now. There are enough talented reporters to start training and mentorship programs for more. These people could play in the news cycle. This would not necessarily require donors to dump money on "bloggers". Rather the people would be established journalists with records.

Other parts of rebuilding the right as a coherent ideological and electoral force will depend on other things (like a coherent ideological framework linked to coherent policies). But this we can do relatively quickly and start demonstrating immediate results by attacking the terrible policies of a Democratic Congress and, potentially, a Democratic White House.


Categories: Syndicated