Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Current Events

Even though it's more-or-less afflicted with the traditional hey-look-I'm-still-two-years-behind-on-media-trends symptom that defines Wempleitis, I rather like this look at the hyperlocal Current newspapers. They are very worthy of profiling: superb instinct for content married to a real gold-standard of writing. I pick up the Foggy Bottom Current at least once a week, and I can tell you, the effort shames the equivalent attempt here in Arlington. I still sort of think that they'd be well-served to have a web-presence, but I sort of just think that in general terms - the quality is too good to insist on too much fuckery that could detract.

If I have a problem with the CP's article, it comes right at the end, after describing the Washington Post's clear aspirations to get up into the hyperlocal biz:

Nor can the Post cherry-pick the most affluent D.C. communities to cover,
as has the Current. As the city’s paper of record, it’ll have to do its hyperlocal thing evenly across all city quadrants, a manpower challenge that could well prevent it from siphoning readers from strong community publications.

Oh, can't they? This is a pretty naive estimation. Sure, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the Post unerringly chooses initiatives that improve their bottom line, but I don't think they are stupid enough to "do its hyperlocal thing evenly across all city quadrants." It would be the last thing I'd suggest, anyway. I'm guessing that as the Post expands this effort, they will move into target-rich areas, and happily skip over communities as they see fit. I suppose that this could lead to the Post getting criticized for ignoring whole wide swaths of the city in their coverage, but really: what else is new?

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