NY Times ‘The Local’ offers something for everyone

I have to say I’m impressed with the New York Times foray into local blogging with its “The Local” site for Maplewood, N.J.

The blog, which has a sister one in Brooklyn, is described by the New York Times as

The Local provides news, information, entertainment and informed conversation about the things that matter to you, your neighbors and your family, from bloggers and citizens who live, work and create in your community — as well as journalists from The New York Times.

One thing that is really awesome about the blog is it includes a section called “On the Fridge Today” which is kids’ artwork. That is such a good idea. Who wouldn’t visit a site that had their child’s drawings on it?

Joe Strupp has a column on Editor and Publisher about the explosion of blogs in that area of New Jersey. He writes that in just a few months, three new sites popped up.

Still, this mix of bloggish news is a big change for our little township. Lord knows the five-person Township Committee is not used to such multiple press outlet interest. Just a few months ago, Mayor Vic De Luca had only the weekly paper to contend with, and the spate of name-calling residents on Maplewood Online.

Nowadays, he may well get more press inquiries some days than Michael Bloomberg. 

And while Bloomberg contends with mundane things like crime rates, subway fares and big city high school test scores, our mayor has to handle real issues: whether to install parking meters downtown and where to run the farmer’s market.

It’s odd that in a time when many communities are seeing less media coverage because of papers’ cutbacks, blogs are stepping in. That’s what’s happening in Wellesley with the Your Town Wellesley. Perhaps this is the wave of the future- no papers, just blogs.

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2 Comments

Filed under From the blogosphere, Online, Online news

2 responses to “NY Times ‘The Local’ offers something for everyone

  1. The Alternative Press http:///www.thealternativepress.com is the first all-online newspaper in the Millburn area – we launched in October and currently cover Millburn/Short Hills, Livingston, Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights. We have received over 3,000,000 hits since we launched. 100% of our reporters, staff and management all live in New Jersey and most were born here.

    We believe the more local news sources that are available for residents, the better. Competition will result in more high-quality news and information being provided to the community. We welcome The Local to Millburn.

    Michael Shapiro
    Editor, The Alternative Press
    http://www.thealternativepress.com

  2. Dave Ross

    Joe Strupp has been mischaracterizing Maplewood Online all over the web for the past week. He can’t get over the fact we didn’t let him spam our site with links to his blog, maplewoodian.com. Maplewood Online has been around since 1998 and we moderate our message forums to prevent personal attacks. If Joe finds heated political debate (found in only one small corner of the forums) scary, maybe he is in the wrong business.

    But wait, there’s more.

    I don’t know how Joe gets off insulting the position of mayor saying it’s only about parking meters and farmers markets. Maplewood is one of the few towns that will have a very small tax increase this year; for a liberal mayor that should be noted and certainly not belittled because it took serious work and tough choices. Why anyone quotes Strupp is beyond my understanding. We do need bloggers to take charge of journalism, but my vote is to put real journalists in those jobs, who understand tone and don’t bury facts.

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