A new blog started here in Memphis, right around the time that Herenton put his first letter of resignation called Eye on City Hall. A project of the Commercial Appeal, Eye on City Hall has been an indispensable new resource for me over the past several weeks.
I follow a lot of local and state blogs, including Jackson Baker’s blog at Memphis Flyer and The Daily News blog run by Bill Dries and Andy Meek over at Memphis Daily News. These three blogs provide the inside baseball that you just can’t get as an average political junkie here in Memphis.
In addition, I think I follow just about every media person based here in Memphis on Twitter.
The reality is, Memphis has needed these things (focused blogs and twitter) since before I moved here 5 years ago. Local political coverage, up ‘til recently has been scarce, or driven by the availability of column inches. I don’t know if the media just didn’t think people were interested, or what, but now all the major newspapers in the state have some kind of blogging operation, and all of them also have more comprehensive political coverage in a blog form.
The point is, more traditional media coverage, even if it doesn’t make the print edition, is ultimately good. You can look at blogs around the state, including Post Politics, Pith in the Wind and In Session in Nashville, not to mention Humphrey on the Hill and No Silence Here (which covers politics and other topics), and see that people are interested in knowing more about their local and state governments.
My hope is that these enterprises end up becoming self-sufficient. My fear is that they won’t, and the public’s need to know will fall victim to the budgetary knife as large media operations continue to cut staff to save “shareholder value” the same way they did with the print editions.
From my perspective, the “community value” far outreaches the pennies a share that cutting staff or local coverage might provide. Still, checking out these and other blogs sponsored by media outlets once in a while, even if you’re not a political junkie like me, might be a good idea. They don’t have the luxury people like myself, or LeftWingCracker, West TN Liberal, Tom Guelff, 55-40, and a whole bunch of other people (who are on my blogroll to the right) that write about politics here in Memphis have…we don’t rely on the income, they do.