The Telegraph has a piece about Matt Drudge: the man journalists never quite understood.
But he gets the profession much more than they ever did.
Calling him a journalist is an insult: he is more of an editor, deciding which stories are worthy, and what gets the serious play. That is an editor’s job, not a reporter’s.
I discuss Drudge in my upcoming book, and there is no doubt that in a dead profession, Drudge flourishes, but it is not because he plays it the way others do. His understanding of it is meta: he is above it, seeing a bigger picture, and he is able to make news out of mere headlines.
I have always studied people who had a pulse on their surroundings, and it is astonishing that Drudge still has a pulse on the world after twenty years of prominence. Journalists, on the other hand, have no pulse whatsoever, and yet, he can pick up something here and there, to be the world’s official curator to what matters.
While many in the profession have always been jealous and resentful of his specific and honed skillset, I have never been upset by it. I am not someone who hails from the Left or the Right. I am a Radical Centrist, and I see no reason to be upset by someone who has a brain and knows how to use it.
Journalists should have learned from him, not keep some sort of macabre deathwatch, hoping he’ll slip. He created something new, and that something new is something larger than being a mere journalist.
A new form of information-gathering should also take note of that now vital global role, and start from there.