I Want Media, the busy website by Patrick Phillips, has started a new feature of short items that are not pegged to the day's news. In the first "Media Offline" entry listed today, the LA Weekly's Nikki Finke reveals how she broke the news on Friday that Ronald Reagan was fading.
"On Friday, I happened to speak to Newsweek correspondent Howard Fineman, who said, 'Hey, you haven't heard anything about Ronald Reagan, have you?' " says Finke. Apparently, several news outlets were chasing a rumor. Finke made a few calls and learned that Reagan's health had suddenly worsened. She phoned LA Weekly and called Fineman back, but "no one was picking up the phone. By then, it was 6:30 p.m. L.A. time, and I realized everyone at the paper had gone home, and Fineman was AWOL."
To get the news out, Finke sent out an e-mail news dispatch. The blog LA Observed picked up the story with full credit, followed by Drudge Report. "My phone started ringing -- CNN, CBS, the Brits -- I barely got any sleep," says Finke. Saturday morning the White House confirmed the news of Reagan's condition. "It's interesting in this wacky news world that someone like me could break this news," says Finke, "and I could get the word out globally with an e-mail."
Hat tip for the mention.