Working on 2008 Review
The closing of Muhlenberg surely tops the list. Plaintalker has a few stories, but left the bulk of coverage to the print media. Brandon Lausch and Mark Spivey did a fine job in the Courier News.
There were lots of other stories that Plaintalker published first, having the advantage of being able to write and publish at will. But sometimes Mark had a story online by the time this writer got home from a long meeting.
Media coverage is changing as print operations embrace online options. The cost of printing and delivering newspapers is forcing adaptations such as smaller editions, cutbacks in publishing, equipping reporters with cameras and other gear formerly exclusive to professional photographers and wireless connections to the newsroom for speedy transmission.
Where do you get your news nowadays, especially local news? Most of us have heard all about national stories before the newspaper arrives, hence the shift to local news on the front page. Blogs including Plaintalker may be hybrids of news and opinion, which in the print media are sharply separated. It is up to a blog reader to sort out facts from hearsay, although talk in the street often presages a news story. Are news consumers better off with more sources now or is it more confusing?
So far, I am only one-third through 2008 in making lists for a Year in Review article. One advantage of a blog is that the whole year is there online for anyone to do their own review. In fact, Plaintalker's entire body of work since June 2005 is posted online. It now forms a free , searchable archive on many city matters.
Plaintalker has just one unpaid writer/photographer/publisher and does not attempt to cover everything, such as crime news. Having chosen to be a pedestrian, this writer is also geographically limited in coverage, to some extent. Most likely Plaintalker will continue through 2009 and then we shall see what's next. Many more blogs and potential online information outlets have begun in 2008. The fate of the traditional news media will be a story in itself for 2009.