The Los Angeles Times’ Joel Sappell recently took a look at “news” blogger Matt Drudge. His Aug. 4 article tells a lot about how newspapers once actively sought to get the Drudge Report to link to articles on their sites. In some cases they still do that — or at least admit to seeing the value of a link from Drudge.
In this story, Mackenzie Warren of Gannett’s Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press tells how he used Drudge to build the paper’s online audience: “In the past, Warren says, he would plot ways to lobby Drudge, who dislikes self-promotion from link seekers. So Warren pitched stories through a fake e-mail address. ‘I’d say, Great story down there in Florida. Then I’d throw in some incendiary adjective, and next thing you know our story would be at the top of his site and our traffic would be on fire.’”
Even Frank Rich of The New York Times, as well as the Washington Post, are interested in Drudge.
Sappell quotes Jim Brady, executive editor of WashingtonPost.com: “Obviously, for some journalists, there’s a lot of irony that Matt Drudge was a black-hat villain, and now a lot of those same journalists realize that getting a link on his site is crucial to their stories getting wider attention. That’s the way the Web works. We’re all trying to make sure our journalism is discovered.”