Monday, November 20, 2006

Even Members of Mainstream Media Getting Tired of Mainstream Media

It isn't just bloggers. It turns out some journalists in mainstream media have also been getting tired of the mainstream media and the many failures of conventional wisdom in Washington about how things should be done and talked about. That's certainly true of Keith Olbermann, although he's always been a little of a gadfly (that's a compliment, by the way).

Now The Washington Post is losing two of its reporters who are developing an enterprise on their own, including a website (blog, internet magazine, a combined mag/blog?) and a hitch on TV once every other week. Here's the story from Fishbowl DC:
Huge, huge moves taking place in Washington this morning as two of the Washington Post's top rockstars (and two of the best political reporters in the country, period) -- Jim VandeHei ...and John Harris ... announced this morning that they are leaving the Washington Post to recreate the Capitol Leader and start something much bigger, sources tell FishbowlDC.

It's complicated and things are still being ironed out, but we'll do our best to explain when you click below to read more...

VandeHei and Harris are starting a new multi-platform company (owned by Albritton Communications, which also owns the Capitol Leader) anchored on the Web that just does politics (a sort of one-stop shopping for your political news and coverage online). The decision by both VandeHei and Harris is premised on the belief that the "old media" way of doing things simply doesn't work for political coverage. Their venture seeks to be a new, more conversational, more provocative and more interactive way of delivering political news that is truly down the middle of the political spectrum (i.e. without inherent institutional biases). Their website will place a heavy emphasis on video, interactivity and databases.

The criticism that the mainstream media has of the Internet and blogs is beginning to be pointless in the face of rapid changes. But this also means that blogs and some of our familiar media sites may be under assault in the next few years by the 'professionals,' as they start to move into the neighborhood. And yet, I think a number of bloggers will hang in there just fine, as long as they remember their 'roots.'

As for Cold Flute, I don't see it becoming a big blog. It came out of Donkey Path which is doing just fine and growing, so that seems to offer the freedom to wander off a bit. Sometimes that's a good thing. Lately, I've been feeling an itch to stretch my legs, to get outside the political box a bit and talk a little more about literature again and the world at large. I'll still talk about the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates though. That's important to me. But let's just take one day at a time.


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