Sunday, 24 August 2008

On The Blogosphere At Its Most Efficient: BCA v Singh

This week saw the Blogosphere pull off something which struck me as quite remarkable.

The news that the British Chiropractic Association is suing Simon Singh, the leading science writer, for libel over a Guardian comment piece broke a week ago in the Sunday Telegraph.

Since then, apart from a brief mention in Nature, the story has not touched the mainstream media ("MSM").

This can be explained, I suspect, in that the only published source of information so far is still the Sunday Telegraph article. Until and unless there are any further public statements, there will not be any sustantive stuff in the MSM.

But the Blogosphere quickly and productively got to work.

Very soon, the original Guardian piece was republished in several places.

The "Streisand Effect" was getting under way (I saw it also called the "Obi Wan Effect" - which I kinda like). Placing the original article on a Russian server here was a particularly cute move.

Then Gimpy provided a quite superb analysis of the Guardian piece, providing sources and references for all the content here.

Over the week a range of bloggers from diverse backgrounds tossed the story around, making insightful links with the New Zealand threatened litigation and the upcoming NICE matter. This was a quite impressive multi-disciplinary effort. The best digest for this activity is the excellent Holford Watch site here.

The wonderful Blue Wode continues to provide regular full inventories of the relevant links here.

Even on the legalistic side, Dr Aust (a non-lawyer) significantly developed the legal analysis here .

All this productive and instructive activity was with almost no MSM coverage, and with only the barebones of the Sunday Telegraph piece to go on.

There is now a great deal of useful information and informed analysis which would be beyond the power of any just one blogger - and indeed beyond the power of any MSM pundit - to have put together over the same period.


HolfordWatch said...

Are there substantial impediments that preclude the MSM covering this or are they being very cautious?

Jack of Kent said...

As far as I know, rhere's nothing stopping any of the MSM doing what the Sunday Telegraph did - reporting the story, contextualising it, seeking quotes.

Instead, you and others provided the sort of thorough contextualisation which the MSM could have done but didn't, and never really have.