So, did ya ever want to know social network analysis metrics on the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport’s special advisers during the spring of 2011, as Rupert Murdoch’s interests in the UK feverishly lobbied Jeremy Hunt and his staff and we raced towards the epochal eruption of Hackgate? ‘Course you did.
In June, 2011, Adam Smith, Hunt’s special adviser and the man who took the fall for his boss, attained a gatekeepership score of 1.42 – that is to say, people who lobbied him achieved a 42% greater improvement in their influence as measured by weighted network degree than the average lobby achieved. He did this on a personal weighted network degree of 0.175, which is piss-ant. His score on the West Point GREEDY_FRAGILE metric, which calculates how much more or less centralised the overall network would be without him, is -6.21635100991e-06.
In May, 2011, his colleague Sue Beeby achieved an even higher gatekeepership, 1.56, and the month before, she was actually the most powerful gatekeeper in the system after excluding the Scottish and Welsh Offices, at 1.928 on a network degree of 0.0875, and a GF of -7.92399753226e-06.
Who was getting this access? The answer is in Smith’s case, “big sport”, the FA, the ECB, and the RFU, although the Rugby League did manage to see him too. It turns out Beeby is far more interesting. In the first 6 months of 2011, she saw The Times 37 times, the Sunday Times 37 times, and Sky TV 8 times.
She also met “sports journalists”, the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, the English Cricket Board, and a PR company called Good Relations which only occurs in the dataset 5 times, all meeting her in March of that year. In the aggregate, the vast majority of influence going in here came from Murdoch.
She moved on with Hunt to the Department of Health, and lists herself on LinkedIn as a Conservative Party press officer. I don’t remember there being anywhere near as much fuss about her, though, as there was about Smith.
(Inspiration, of course, here.)