Hallett be hatin' on Ohio blogs
(ht Blue Dog Rising via the comments)
But I do want to point out the views of Joe Hallett, a major Ohio pol reporter, and Connie Schultz, the influential newswriting spouse of Senator Brown, re: blogs.
On the matter of political blogs, Schultz and I were in lockstep. Their importance is overblown and their readership, although growing, still is a fraction of those readers who rely on newspapers to get their politics.
Little original reporting comes from political blogs. Exceptions in Ohio include rightangleblog.com and its counterpart on the liberal side, buckeyestateblog.com, whose authors at least make an effort to talk with newsmakers. Mostly, though, political blogs are echo chambers for ideologues to comment on and twist what they've read in the morning newspaper or on newspaper blogs such as www.dispatch.com/politics.
First, it's interesting the way Hallett pimps the new Dispatch blog. It's been the most newspaper-y blog by a newspaper. Basically just the online version of the capital notes they've always run. With the political reporting resources of the Dispatch, I have much higher hopes for this nascent resource.
Second, this mass media view of politics -- that it's all about the number of readers vs. who those readers are -- continues to dumbfound me. Ohio blogs will never have the readership of, say, the Plain Dealer or the Dispatch. But I am absolutely certain that sites like BSB are the only place the majority of Ohio's opinion-makers -- from the DfA activist to the head of the ODP -- visit every day. (The same applies for political campaigns -- it's the quality of the contact, stupid...)
Now, what, dear Memorial Day readers, do you think? What is the role of blogs? And how can we expand the reach of this "new" media tool?