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  •  Theoretically. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, sapper, gooners, thethinveil

    But a lot of local papers do a really shitty job of covering local stuff.  And even then, local blogs can often do a better job.

    Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:20:10 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  it depends on where you are... (6+ / 0-)

      small towns aren't going to have anyone go to these meetings just to write about them on a blog.  Blogs cover the big, exciting stuff.  

      •  I'm going to have to disagree again. (5+ / 0-)

        My local blog, for example, is all about the seemingly mundane local stuff.  Board meetings and the mayor's latest policy proposal and all that good local stuff.

        Really, there's nothing a local newspaper can do that a local blog can't do.  The only difference is that the local bloggers usually do it for free.

        Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

        by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:23:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  where do you live? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          in a major metro?  Local blogs can cover anything, but I don't believe that they will.  

          •  No, in Tacoma. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sapper, gooners, Dbug

            Which is a pretty small city (about 200,000).  We do have a local paper, which I occasionally read.  We also have a weekly, and then there's a great weekly in Seattle (which I enjoy a lot more than our local daily).  We also have some good local blogs.  It's a mix.

            I realize that not every area, especially smaller areas, offers a quality local blog.  Yet.  But don't you think that's just a matter of time?  

            Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

            by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:38:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe, but I personally would rather... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cityduck, kurt

              the local papers survive, or find a way to co-exist.  I don't mean to say that all newspapers do a great job at covering local issues, my point is more that they can fill that niche and could do a much better job at it.  Maybe they should concentrate on local issues, it might save them.

              •  Local blogs can replace citywide newspapers (0+ / 0-)

                I live in Seattle and the local NPR station, KUOW, did a great roundtable discussion about the death of newspapers.  One of the panelists said there are a bunch of local websites that are centered in neighborhoods (West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Ravenna, etc.).  So you'll read about someone who was mugged on the corner of Broadway and John.  Someone else went to a city council meeting.  Someone else writes a review of the new pizza restaurant where the Burger King used to be.  Someone raves about getting acupuncture at a local shop.  Someone else planted a garden and talks about which plants thrive in the local climate.  Someone is angry because the school board is closing down a school.

                So that's one thing that can happen if newspapers die.  By the way, the Seattle P-I discontinued their paper edition (leaving us with the Seattle Times), but then the P-I started a web-only newspaper.  And some ex-employees of the P-I started a different online newspaper.  Plus, we have two weekly newspapers (The Stranger and The Seattle Weekly).  One of them is owned by the Village Voice and the other one isn't.  Both of them send reporters to the city council meetings.

                Plus, I read various magazines, and I check Daily Kos and the NY Times and Huffpost on the internet almost every day.  Maybe once a week I'll look at the online Salon, Slate, The Onion, The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic.  Heck, sometimes I'll even see what's on Drudge or Rush Limbaugh's execrable website.

                I don't feel like I have a shortage of news in Seattle (as long as I pay my cable company to give me high-speed cable access).

                There are only two kinds of people in the world: People who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

                by Dbug on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:33:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Journalist (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kurt

                  almost all newspapers, wire services, television news, and radio news operations hire only college graduates and expect prior experience in journalism, either at a student publication or through an internship.

                  Does training and experience count for anything?

                  Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

                  by SoCalHobbit on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:32:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Your "pretty small city" (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tmo, LABobsterofAnaheim, kurt

              is bigger than the largest city in South Carolina. I care less about the fate of newspapers, but for right now in our area, where computers are rare, let alone bloggers, newspapers still serve a vital purpose.

              These weeklies and small down (30,000 and under) dailies are vital, and yet they are failing. If newspapers go, the dark ages will once again rein supreme in the South.

              "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

              by sapper on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:28:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  High time (5+ / 0-)

          for these local bloggers to get paid.

    •  Not so, Mouse. (12+ / 0-)

      I've been to a lot such meetings as a reporter, and I was often the only representative of the media there at all.

      The Teabagging Liveblog is today, at noontime Central. Come dip your teabags in our willing mugs.

      by droogie6655321 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:23:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure that's true. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sapper, droogie6655321, gooners

        But is there any reason a local blogger couldn't cover those meetings?  Especially as newspapers die out?  

        If people want the information, they'll find a way to get it, don't you think?

        Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

        by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:26:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The main reason why not (13+ / 0-)

          Time and money. People have day jobs. It's one thing to go to the meetings. It's another to read the agendas and build contacts between you and the councilors and other government types.

          It's a huge time investment to do it right. It's a lot more than just an afternoon trip to an hour-long meeting.

          The Teabagging Liveblog is today, at noontime Central. Come dip your teabags in our willing mugs.

          by droogie6655321 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:29:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A huge void will be left by the demise of the (7+ / 0-)

            daily paper.  Many aspects of that void will likely ultimately be filled, but not all of them will be.  Plus, it may take several years to fill the voids that are ultimately filled.

            Duke Cunningham might still be in Congress were it not for the investigative efforts of the SD paper.  I suspect that Nixon would've finished out his 2d term had it not been for "Woodstein's" efforts.  Had there been a blogosphere then, Daniel Ellsberg leaking the Pentagon Papers to DKos would likely not have had nearly the impact that leaking them to the NYT and the WaPo had.

            A world in which Broder, Tom Friedman, and Brooks have to seek honest work would likely be a good thing.  I like, however, seeing the likes of Herbert, James Carroll, and Gene Robinson having a platform.  I also recognize the fact that Krugman's influence largely stems from his NYT byline.

            This issue is a very serious one w/ potentially serious consequences.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:14:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  if someone will pay for it. (6+ / 0-)

          Altruism only carries you so far.

        •  I honestly cannot see people willing to pay a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          local blogger to go to a meeting and read about it later. I don't think for one thing that local newspapers are in danger anyway, they serve a niche amrket, where for 75 cents a week you get all your local news. We have two where i live, one costs 75 cents the other is free, surviving on advertising.

          As for local meetings, the ones people care about, like zoning, planning etc. there is always high attendance and representatives from the two papers, and sometimes even someone fropm the local commercial community station, or the two community supported stations, not to mention camera's from the local public access station.

          So do i live in a town of 200,000? no. I live in a county of 25,000, of which about 2,500 live in town.

          We care about our community and our local outlets are in no danger.  It is the huge city dailies that are in danger. The rreason is because people have shown they will not pay for access if the opinion and sapecialyty pages are firewalled, see NYT.

          It is they who are going to need to find a differerent business model. The major blogs are also going to have to find a business model that works too, if they are now relying on advertising to survive.  The pie is getting bigger and the slices smaller.

          It's not that there isn't enough information, there is just too much and we all have zillions of choices of where we get it from.

        •  No reason at all, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          but the people directly affected by city and county council meetings, and school board meetings, may not have any computers to read the blog posts.

          "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

          by sapper on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:31:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  agree (7+ / 0-)

        they're so boring you have to pay someone to go.

        However, the truth is that the local beat reporter is getting cut.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:29:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Shitty coverage is better than none. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, thethinveil

      When you can show me a blogger sitting in front of a Lee County school board meeting, scribbling away at notes, I'll begin to believe bloggers can be worthwhile.

      Really. When I see certified, experienced bloggers deliver me news about the screwed-up budgets in Lee, Clarendon, Sumter, Fairfield, Jasper, and/or Dillon counties, then I'll rest easier, knowing that if newspapers drop dead, the veil of secrecy won't entirely cloak these little counties' budgets. School boards and town councils too.

      But that point is not approached yet in South Carolina, may not even be near. So we need our crummy newspapers a little while longer.

      "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

      by sapper on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:25:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rural coverage (0+ / 0-)

        It's hard to get Internet, let along high-speed Internet, in rural areas of South Carolina (and Pennsylvania). Dial-up satellite is usually the option, and that doesn't work when the trees leaf out or it snows.

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