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How Drudge's Lewinsky Scoop Changed Journalism

By Gregg Russell, CNN - August 17, 2013

The Drudge Report, a mix of gossip, politics, rumor and news, has been attracting attention in cyberspace for a couple of years now. Some 60,000 subscribers receive Drudge's daily bulletins and "flash" reports; tens of thousands more read them on his Web site. Using a network of tipsters and "borrowed" passwords to the internal computer systems of media powerhouses, Drudge has managed to scoop the media establishment on a number of stories, including the selection of Jack Kemp as Bob Dole's vice presidential running mate and Connie Chung's dismissal by CBS. But it was Drudge's White House sex scandal scoop that caused the mainstream media to take notice. And even as these "respectable" news outlets pursue the scandal with almost tabloid intensity, many professional journalists are expressing concern about Drudge's role in breaking the Lewinsky story and the effect the Internet is having on their profession. "The technology of nonstop news and the Internet means that allegations that would have been carefully checked out a generation ago no longer are," said James Fallows, editor of U.S. News and World Report. "We now have a 24-hour-a-day news cycle. News gets used up very quickly and there's a constant hunger for new tidbits."

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