News You Could Do Without

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
journalism, local reporting


Oh Look, More New Business Models For Reporting On City Hall Politics

from the ain't-so-hard dept

We were just talking about how ridiculous it is when people insist that without traditional newspapers, no one will actually report on local politics. And here's yet another example of why that's apparently not as big a problem as people said. It's a story of Publicola, a Seattle-based startup that's built a business on covering local politics making use of various insiders (which may horrify traditional reporters, but it appears to be working). And that's the point: if there's demand, there are lots of business models that can and will work. In fact, we're seeing they already are working.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    If you are willing to skip the things like "fair and balanced" and "checking facts", then hey, yeah, it can be done.

    News by press release is bad. News by insiders providing their one sided view is, well, sort of useless, no?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    ulle53, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:55am

    re #1

    All major news sources have their own agenda, they slant the news to fit what management wants, fair, balanced and checking facts only applies if and when it suits the bosses. To think otherwise is not realistic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    Holy Crap that site is fantastic!!! However I see a huge problem with it and I understand why the traditional media would rail against it.

    That site isn't printing canned press releases from the political parties (in Seattle's case, one political party), and being the local politicians' lapdog.

    Maybe if the "acclaimed" Seattle PI had modeled their business more like this site and less like a "traditional" old school paper (actually worse than an old school paper since there was very little critical reporting of the local politicians) they might still be in business (other than a shadow of its former self online).

    It's interesting to compare the seattle PI online site to this one. The differences are striking in regards to local reporting. It will be interesting to see which one will come out on top. Somehow I don't think it will even be a contest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    ArcticChill (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    So ummm.....

    ....just what newspaper is paying the coward to haunt your site? Or should I wait until tomorrow to read it in his newsprint?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Some Other Guy, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:44am


    Are not most politicians 'insiders' in any story that their voice has any worth to be heard?

    So should we never listen to the people closest to the story because their close-up view makes them 'biased'?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Jake, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 3:48pm

    Somehow I doubt this is going to be the business model that kills local newspapers worldwide. Local government around here is pretty much limited to deciding bus routes, what day the dustbins are emptied and whether Mr Bloggs from Number 4 can build an extension, which would barely bring in enough hits to pay domain name fees no matter how slick you are about your advertising.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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