How Tech News is Made

Back in the 90s the Clinton White House legal counsel’s office had a conspiracy theory on how news is made in Washington DC. According to this flowchart, “news” would start with well funded right wing thinktanks and individuals. It would then flow to the Western Journalism Center, the American Spectator magazine and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. From there the legend would grow on the Internet where it would then be picked up by the British Tabloids before filtering to the Walls Street Journal, the Washington Times and the New York Post. After that it would be discussed by congressional commitees. Only then would the Washington Post or the NY Times pick up on the story. I cut a diagram of this communication stream from the paper back then and always get a kick out of looking at it.
I was thinking the other day that the tech news cycle is much like this theory. Rumors are posted to lists like bugtraq and full disclosure. From there it filters down to slightly more reputable sources, lets says SANS ISC and if its antimicrosoft it will show up on slashdot. From there it will be written up by a tech writer at zdnet or the register. Soon after that it will be in the Washington Post. From there it is on the AP wire and will appear in newspapers all over America.