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May 10, 2009

The newspaper crisis, David Simon, the role of blogs, and the (somewhat misread) Brooklyn example

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder takes a good look at the news business and the future role of newspapers and blogs.

So the biggest discussion this past week about the role of blogs was generated not by the fourth annual Brooklyn Blogfest, held Thursday in DUMBO, but by the Senate hearing on the newspaper crisis held Wednesday in Washington.

But it’s worth connecting some dots between the the above, especially since Brooklyn blogs (including this one) were invoked--not always accurately--in the national debate that followed the Senate hearing.

The most contentious issue, via Gawker and the New York Times’s Opinionator blog (as noted below), concerned the claim by former Baltimore Sun reporter and “The Wire” producer David Simon that he doesn’t see bloggers covering nitty-gritty local issues like zoning board hearings.

Some critics responded that bloggers, in places like Oakland and Brooklyn, in fact do that. I’ll grant that, but I think the Brooklyn contribution to watchdog journalism was overstated and, as I wrote recently, Atlantic Yards is an anomalous case.

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NoLandGrab: It's hard not to be worried about where people can find well done news coverage when so many bloggers are largely aggregators who sometimes let personal lives and a lovely sunny Sunday take precedence over in-depth analysis. Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by steve at May 10, 2009 12:48 PM