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I noticed what I think is a new phenomenon earlier this week, while reading my daily paper. This is an extract from an Independent story about the abduction of a toddler from a holiday resort:

In the UK, the distraught parents were criticised in internet chat rooms for allowing their children to be out of their sight. [snip]

Some bloggers taking part in discussions threads on the internet since the news broke have claimed that as well-paid professionals the couple should have known better than to leave the children unsupervised. [snip]

Of course I’ve seen stories about blogging and internet use in newspapers before, but this is the first time that I’ve noticed a mainstream news article reporting on what internet users were saying about a mainstream news story.