Today I went out to my snail mailbox and there it was: My copy of Rolling Stone, with Lady Gaga on the cover with her machine-gun brassiere and The Runaway General story on the inside that ignited the country and lost the general his job on the inside.
It's always a good day when I can curl up with the newest issue of RS. But the thing is, I already read The Runaway General a few nights ago on rollingstone.com.
In the olden days, no self-respecting print magazine would have pre-released a story like that. You'd have to wait for it to hit the newsstands, and editors would anticipate that day. And you wonder why RS didn't do that this time. This wasn't breaking news. This was a scoop, sure, but no one else had the scoop.
The answer is so patently clear: The Web is the way to go, print is sinking as fast as General McChrystal's chance of another command, and the more RS can entrench readers to think of the RS site to bookmark and visit on a daily basis, the longer RS will be around. It's all about clicks and hits and unique views, and the business guys can tell you more about it, but this writer can see that editorial did exactly what it was supposed to do, and it was exactly what it wasn't supposed to do even five years ago.
Rolling Stone, a publication that has morphed and evolved as the times changed, embracing not only music and politics but pop culture and whatever else came on pop cultureâ€™s radar, also played the journalism game pretty well, making the MSM wonder just how they got that story. Youâ€™d think they were talking about the National Enquirer instead of a national publication with some real merit, and they came across like sour grapes. Jon Stewart nails it. If you donâ€™t want to listen to the whole clip, just forward to 1:04.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|McChrystal's Balls - Honorable Discharge|
And then on huffingtonpost.com, Mayhill Fowler recalled her days as a newbie reporter on the campaign trail and wrote I donâ€™t know how many thousands of words onâ€”in her wordsâ€”theÂ betrayal and seduction that journalists engage in, basically saying you have to have the balls to go in, get the story, and then actually write the story. It seems so many journalists have forgotten that.