Foley Story a ‘watershed’ for ABC News on the Web

Another interview with Brian Ross, the chief investigative correspondent with ABC News, who broke the story of Mark Foley’s instant-message come-ons to Congressional pages on the ABC group blog, The Blotter.


Another interview with Brian Ross, the chief investigative correspondent with ABC News, who broke the story of Mark Foley’s instant-message come-ons to Congressional pages on the ABC group blog, The Blotter.

“Some of the people inside the building [at ABC] were saying this is a kind of watershed moment for ABCNews.com, at least. [The story] broke because it was online and we got the feedback from those who read it and gave us more. It was a big moment, that was driving editorially the news division. At the height of it, we were posting things every couple hours, and
there was a large number of viewers reading those things [online]. I don’t think we’ve ever had that, 11 million viewers over that first weekend.

“We started just in April, and we’re just in the sixth month of it and it’s been a huge success. It changes and improves the standards of people who are going to be hired by ABC News into this unit. If there ever was a time where TV people didn’t have to write, just had to know what good pictures were or how to get to a fire — that doesn’t work for us anymore. Everyone has to be able to sit down and write a story in an understandable, logical way. Most of our people can do
that anyway, but I think that will spread across the network and it will cause ABC to change the standards for hiring people.”