BNP List – if only papers had staff, the power of traditional media and observations

Really hectic, but couldn’t help post some observations on the BNP list release:

  • A gift for newspapers who can now go and check out all these people – that’s a story for locals up to the nationals – if only they had the staff to actually do so. In days gone by, that’s the sort of list that would have seen a dozen reporters across the country tasked to it – for each paper. Now? Most papers are lucky to have a dozen reporters. Lots of people may avoid exposure purely due to cuts in the press. It used to be ‘all the news fit to print’ but now it’s ‘all the news we’ve got time to get quickly and cheaply.’
  • Ironically enough, look at the timing on online outlets – blogs, Twitter and so on – for a list that was leaked online on Monday, this story only exploded after the traditional media picked up on it and ran with it? Does that show traditional media is getting quicker at picking up online stories, that traditional media is still the best for mass exposure of a story or that traditional media legitmises online items (I know of at least one person who thought it was a hoax until the papers picked it up). GO TRADITIONAL PRINT! (What? Allow the reporter in me a moment’s happiness)
  • Will any paper bottle it under the grounds of ‘we can’t ID people as we got it illegally from a list?’ in which case I would remember newbie reporters that the best stories come from leaked documents – Pentagon Papers and so on – so don’t bottle it. But at the same time, responsible reporting is only fair.
  • Given that the list is going up and down all over the shop, how long before people start adding in other names to it as a prank, Black PR op, revenge or some other reason? Sadly that’s the sort of prank that could have nasty repercussions.
  • As others have pointed out, membership of the BNP isn’t actually illegal and we do live in a democracy, so is there anything here to report past a data protection leak?
  • I see the list has appeared on file sharing outlets? Will social crusaders claim this is a good use for P2P which is normally associated with piracy?
  • Man, I’ll bet the Sunday press are pissed – in the US sense – that this broke so early in the week…
  • And hell, there’s a lot of people needing crisis comms and media handling advice now. The question is – will some companies choose not to be associated?

And in a web2.0 world, how long before someone takes that list and uses it as a database with GoogleMaps to show the areas of concentration for membership – and then uses the comment boxes to add in extra details about each member, including links to their private sites? I saw a heatmap on Spod, but that’s just the beginning of what could be done…