March 14, 2005
More officeholders who blog

From San Francisco City Supervisor Chris Daly (via Kos) to Rep. John Culberson (via Rob), more current elected officials are taking up blogging. Note their stated reasons, Daly first:

As it becomes increasingly clear to me that San Franciscans are not going to get the kind of local coverage that we need from the San Francisco Chronicle, I am going to be looking elsewhere to get my message out.

And Culberson (on whose behalf Rob is writing):

This site is intended to be a way for the Congressman to get his point of view onto the web in the quickest way possible, without the major media filtering or changing his words.

Now, I'm no blog triumphalist. I'm quite certain that the so-called "MSM" will outlive me. I mean, how many of us bloggers would have anything worthwhile to say if it weren't for the daily fishwrap and Happy Talk TV News? That said, there's no question in my mind that local politics is in many ways badly served by local media, and in turn those of us who wish to keep up with local politics are equally badly served. I'm still pissed at the Houston Chronicle for its pathetic coverage of all non-Presidential races last year, especially at the county and State Rep level. It's not sexy, there's no cool video you can show, and maybe the audience is limited, but this is the sort of thing that affects us all in a zillion ways, many of which we're unaware of, and for the most part there was nada in the Chron on any of it.

If for whatever reason we can't rely on the local media to cover campaigns and political happenings, then I'll take whatever I can get straight from the sources themselves. Politicians' websites will be necessarily self-serving, but at least there they can be sure that their words will be made public, where we can all hear and judge them. At this point, any candidate for office who doesn't have a website and who isn't regularly updating that site (it doesn't have to be blog format, though of course that's an easy and user-friendly way to provide regular updates) isn't taking the task of campaigning seriously enough, in my opinion. I don't see why those who are already elected wouldn't see it that way, too.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 14, 2005 to Blog stuff | TrackBack

I read somewhere over the weekend (can't remember where) that if local news outlets (both tv and newspapers) want to stop bleeding viewers and readers, they have to get back to reporting LOCAL. And really get into local minutia. That's what interests local consumers.

Especially in today's tech age, we can get our national news from so many nationally-focused outlets. The Chronicle in particular would be better-served if it disbanded most of its Washington, DC, bureau and focused that energy back in Texas. How often do we see the Chronicle's Austin bureau MIA, and instead we get an AP story with an Austin dateline?

Some of the Chronicle's This Week stories are terrific examples of local news and they are relegated to a once a week, regional section. It's pathetic.

Posted by: Anne on March 14, 2005 3:29 PM

Anne: the Chronicle is in business to sell ads. Want to change their mix? Talk (REALLY talk) to those folks who buy space. Mr. Kuffner: your blog is up. Looks like you're half-way toward becoming a candidate. You'll do well running against a dinosaur who is still intimidated by the sight of a keyboard. Just remember us little folks when you get there.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on March 14, 2005 5:11 PM