Friday, 5 September 2003

Agenda-setting: the power of the Times

Why do Virginia Postrel and Glenn Reynolds suddenly care about the two-week Memphis blackout in late July and early August? Simple: the New York Times had an op-ed about it.

(Virginia’s reaction is common. I got stares of disbelief when I told people in Ann Arbor about the Memphis power outage when the Great Northeast Blackout hit the town. “Surely we would have heard about this,” was the common refrain.)

Of course, Signifying Nothing readers knew about it at the time, even though half of SN (Brock) was offline due to the power outage and the other half (i.e. me) was 750 miles away.