Thursday, July 22, 2004

James Lileks is near legend in the Blogosphere for some reason. He is a terrific writer, and he posts to his blog once a day every day. His post is an accumulation of his thought for the day and includes many personal items, like his daughter, whom he refers to as Gnat, endearingly. He also has many deep and interesting thoughts about politics and the blogosphere, which means he gets linked to a lot. Today's was super interesting, as he made a prediction of sorts, or perhaps a comment on where local papers SHOULD be heading, instead of where they currently are.
Here's the section:
A while ago I noted that I had ceased to rely on my paper for international and national news. The web’s competitive advantage is overwhelming. Now I turn straight to the Metro section, because the web can’t yet match the resources and reach of a newspaper. If I were king of the forest, I’d turn the A section into the Metro section. For most papers beside the big swingin’ Johnson dailies, the A section is a lost cause; its lunch has not only been eaten but digested and excreted, and most newspapers think it’s still on the plate with its garnish intact. Newspapers to me no longer look like great sober edifaces inscribing the details of history as the parade clatters past. They just look like group blogs. Without the honest admission of bias. I turn to the daily paper for the stories so elemental that bias has no place - fires, accidents, murders, jabberings of local officials, etc. I say amp up the local coverage, and spare me the edited wire copy about an Israeli incursion into Gaza. For that I'll read the original sources. (After all, I wouldn't trust the Jerusalem Post to accurately cover a double-stabbing in the Minneapolis club district after a rapper was nine hours late taking the stage.) Newspapers have one great strength: proximity. I think they'll realize this eventually. TV covers the world; radio is the new editorial page; the internet is both times ten. The future of newspapers will be intensely local.

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