Virginia's Political Blogger Pioneers
Here's a piece I've written in the new edition of American Journalism Review looking at the impact that Virginia's political bloggers had on last fall's race for governor.
An update: Most of the blogs I wrote about in this article are still active, though several have changed focus, turning from electoral politics to the business of governing the state. Since the bloggers tend not to be in Richmond, their work since the election feels somewhat more distanced than their campaign coverage, which was very much of the moment and in some cases on the scene. And by my reading, the work on the political blogs since the election has seemed less connected than the very plugged-in feel that they had in the heat of the campaign. Part of that comes from the fact that there are fewer readers and the blogs aren't getting hourly attention from the campaign staffs--that was one of the most exciting aspects of the blogs during the campaign, and you don't see the equivalent amount of attention from legislative staffers on the blogs that you did from campaign workers.
That could well change over time, but for now, I think it's fair to conclude that, as we in the newspaper business learned long ago, there are a lot more readers for campaign coverage than for coverage after the voters have made their picks. Still, bloggers, like news businesses, know that if you're just covering the campaign and not holding the public officials accountable after they're elected, you're not doing the whole job. The trick is to develop the business model and the reporting and writing chops that will bring an audience to the ostensibly drier material.
By Marc Fisher |
February 6, 2006; 7:11 AM ET
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