Can blogs cover local news?

Can blogs report the local news that hard-pressed papers don't cover?
Stephen Baker

A thoughtful post from Tim Porter on the future of local newspapers in the age of blogs. The point as I see it isn't that blogs overthrow newspapers, but that papers increasingly lack the economic (and staffing) resources to do their job--and they lack the flexibility to follow a mobile population. Porter says: "Modern communities are water, spilling across space and time. Newspapers are rock, hardened and stuck in one spot. In the war of water and rock, liquid wins every time."

The most pressing question isn't whether blogs pose a threat to traditional journalism. It's whether citizen journalism can provide the information societies need.

The trouble is that there's lots of very boring news that few people want to pay for--but is in society's interest to know (or at least have available). I used to nod off during planning board meetings in places like Weston, Vermont, and El Paso, Texas. But I'd rouse myself to write stories that put the proceedings in the public eye. If newspapers can no longer afford to cover that type of news, will blogs?

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