Huge Difference between Social and Mainstream Media – Speculation vs. Confirmation

Yesterday, decidedly liberal Daily Kos posted an article speculating a Thomas Eagleton-like bombshell about Sarah Palin covering up the fact that her Down’s Syndrome son Trig is possibly her grandson, and that Trig was birthed by Sarah Palin’s daughter who was 16 at the time. Although the shocking claim is tabloidish, the fact is the speculation is now out there (the article received over 1,600 comments over a 24-hour span, many of which leaning towards credibility) and eventually will have to be addressed by the McCain campaign… perhaps even during their convention.

More interesting is the mainstream media (even the well followed liberal HuffPost) has not touched the story in 24-hours, preferring the cautious vetting process that was used with John Edwards / Rielle Hunter earlier this month. The shoot-from-the-hip versus caution-by-fear-of-libel-lawsuit is a profound difference between the social media and mainstream media. It makes me wonder why the mainstream media CNN, NBC, etc. don’t set up subsidiary channels/social networks that can address the fact these tabloidish speculations exist. With social media / social news on the uptick, these kind of stories will surface and be vetted socially for their credibility and value.

The first place I thought most appropriate to initiate the discussion on this topic is Social Median, a new application devoted to vetting news socially.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.

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