The Internet's Changing of the Gutenberg Gurard
We are beginning to see a new type of press power develop in New York. Gone are the old days when one newspapers controlled local news and politics. The Internet has changed all that. The new players are the bloggers and the online newspaper 24 hour websites. These new players are changing the flow and effect of the news.
Paterson's flip flop on pay raises for his staff and the senate's support for adding new charter schools are the new press's first victories. While less people are reading the papers, because of the Internet news is reaching more people. Yes the governor is weak and out the door, but his reversal on pay raises for his staff yesterday show the promise of this new Internet driven press. It seems we are going back to the old days of journalism where once a good story was published other media outlets joined the hunt as well. This happy combination produced many full-strength media pile-ons and visible shivers in City Hall and Albany. There is no doubt the the clown show in Albany and the city's economic melt down is adding fuel to the changes the Internet is causing.
Bloggers like Liz Benjamin who now does the YNN blog and Azi Paybarah (Politicker), Henry Stern (NY Civic), Rafael Martínez Alequín (Your Free Press) and True News have by their comprehensive coverage of politics on the Internet forced the other media outlets to cover the news they post on their blogs. If you read today's papers and blogs you get the feeling they are all trying to cover the same stories of their competitors. You do not have to pick up the Village Voice to read Tom Robbins or Wayne Barrett stories about corruption in the city.
TV local news has long been know to use the morning papers as the basis of their news coverage. Shrinking Newspaper Coverage Means Less Real TV News More Sexy Reporters (True News) Now TV news writers are using the Internet also. Today with cutback in the news media and the growth in blogging everyone is reading everyone else stories and copying them. Which means that a story about the governor giving his staff raise while her tries to furlough 100,000 state workers is dozens of Internet sites in minutes and soon thereafter all over the old media, newspaper, TV and radio.
This new media is just beginning. More and more readers are getting their news from the Internet each day. The old media see themselves in competition with the Internet bloggers who are not as controlled as the old media by the pols flacks and lobbyists. This is not champagne time, it just a faint sign of hope of what could be. Corporate owners of the news media, lobbyist and flacks of hacks still have to much power over our news. During the next couple of years and more and more reader get their news from the Internet, the old media will lose more of their ability to control news content, they have already lost control of news flow.
To build a true independent local press we need an army of neighborhood bloggers with the attitude of Queens Crap. Right now local blogs are mostly politically naive and not very good journalist, who prefer to cover their cats and local store openings then how Albany dysfunctionalism hurts their readers. If local bloggers all over the city start covering the news like Queens Crap, the pols will be hiding under their desks as the public finally throws the bums out.