The Norbourg Vacuum

Before the Internet, large and powerful companies and agencies would often get down into a hole and keep their heads down when some controversial topic was being whispered about in public If they were lucky, some other hot news item would take over the headlines and their hot potato would be buried. Of course if it was really big it was impossible to keep the lid on it, but many were successfully stifled. Media blackout was often the watchword. It was the rare exception where the company would go public and let the full facts be known. That of course was before the Internet.

The world has moved on. The US Defence Chief Donald Rumsfeld got it right when he said that the US is ‘losing media war to al-Qaeda’. His explanation was that if there is a media vacuum on a topic, then if you don’t fill it your opposition will.

This may be happening to an extent around the Norbourg case. If you do a Google Blog search on what is being said about Norbourg on the Internet, it’s almost a complete vacuum. Blogs often will show what are the latest happenings on a topic. However the most recent entries are still the TOBB posts on the need for a Norbourg blog and Part 2 on that back in October 2005.

When there is a vacuum someone is likely to fill it. Yesterday Vincent Lacroix, head of Norbourg, opened a new website to explain his position. You’ve got to dig a bit deeper to find information from the Administrator (Ernst and Young), last updated December 2nd, or the AMF, in its Dossier – Norbourg last updated February 2nd.

Given the difficulty in getting information, those hit hardest by the Norbourg affair have had to create their own Forum to try to surface and exchange information. Not surprisingly it’s called Scandale Norbourg, ?changes sur le scandale Norbourg. I guess if the wrong people may try to fill that vacuum, you’ve got to take matters into your own hands.