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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Albany scene: Trading in news derivatives


Some of us in the news media have discovered our own version of selling derivatives and credit default swaps.

A magazine tells you that the rumor is flying that a newspaper is preparing a story on the private life of the governor, as told by another news organization’s blogger – and, in the meantime, yet another newspaper does a gossip item but not a story based on some of the rumors, which in whole or in part are broadcast.

So the papers, TV, and Web sites now are trafficking not necessarily in pieces of news, as traditionally defined, but in speculations on pieces of news that in effect become a kind of news “product”. They can drive the political value of a candidate the way a rumor of a merger or financial collapse can drive up or down the value of a stock.

Since not all stories can be told by a video camera, and may require thought and a sense of something human, here’s a solution: We all attach live cams to our heads so the public can keep up 24-7 with the researching of the actual news story.

And if anyone can aggregate that live-streaming data, good luck.


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