The relationship between traditional media and net-fueled movements is often not easy. The corporate nature of news organizations often clashes with its informational side, and as sociologists Paul Lazarsfeld and Robert K. Merton pointed out, in mass media “he who pays the piper generally calls the tune”.
Is this also the case of The New York Times? After its article “As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around Globe“, Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy‘s speaker Micah L. Sifry points out how the newspaper is a little bit late on reporting about net-based activism.
This article could have also been written in 2003 or 2007-8. For argument’s sake, the Times’ story on the rise of the “second superpower,” (“A New Power in the Streets,” February 17, 2003) which focused on the massive wave of international protests against the impending invasion of Iraq, which were loosely coordinated by net-based activists, was the story in 2003, except the Times stopped covering democratic protests after that as its editors and top writers fell in lockstep in support of the Iraq War.