The filing of the final campaign stories can only mean one thing – it’s postmortem time.
In our amped-up news cycle, the mainstream media’s performance has already been sliced and diced in real time. The main critiques have drawn wide attention: barely disguised bias against now President-elect Donald Trump; coziness and collusion between the Clinton campaign and the media, as laid bare in hacked emails; and unfair "free air time" granted to the ratings-boosting Trump on the cable networks, especially some Fox News shows.
But the big story this election season was not the coverage – both good and bad – by legacy outfits. Instead, the 2016 election ratified the influence of a relatively new force in the media: nontraditional activist journalists.
I am referring here primarily to the conservative investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and, last but not least, the enigmatic international transparency group WikiLeaks. Call them the disrupters.
Few would dispute that collectively these three have driven the most consequential coverage of the campaign for well over a year now. Traditional news outlets have often been relegated to the role of mere amplifier of their troubling revelations about Hillary or Bill Clinton or their circle -- revelations that by and large have not been called into question.
This article continues at [Real Clear Politics] Disrupters Were Journalism's Winners in the 2016 Election