Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Portland Blogger Too Poor to Continue...

No, not me... Yet. Maybe check back next week just to make sure.

Local politics affect our day-to-day lives more than any other level of government, but for most people, issues affecting their hometowns are often the most overlooked and ignored. More people are likely to vote for President, Senator, or Governor than they are for City Council candidates or School Board members. Unfortunately, in most cases, the City Council and School Boards are the ones who are going to be making decisions that directly affect what you can or cannot do every day, or what your child can or cannot do every day.

In fact, local government is a major battleground of the Red v. Blue stand off. Look at what has happened to School Boards across the nation. We are living in the 21st Century and the Scopes trial could be a current event in many cities and towns. State Legislatures are falling across the country to the Republicans, even in the bluest of states, reflecting the fact that most geography in the Blue states is actually Red. These bodies have tremendous influence on the debate both up and down the food chain, influencing everything from your taxes to who gets to be President.

Quality local sources of news and information are very important, though, to my knowledge, fairly rare. Municipal and regional issues can often seem very dry, which means you won’t be seeing any in depth coverage on your local broadcast news, and in most parts of the country the quality of journalism on these broadcasts is atrocious. Daily newspapers vary greatly in their bias and competence and most cities these days only have one. It is never wise to rely on one source for information about news and politics. Many larger cities also have weekly alternative papers, but again, the quality varies greatly here too, and the anti-establishment biases may not always be conducive to fair reporting.

So, well researched and well written blogs focusing on local issues may be a niche that is waiting to be filled in most areas, and it may be one that needs to be filled again in Portland.

The Portland Communique, a blog that focuses on local issues in Portland, OR, is probably going the way of the mammoth in the next few weeks.

From what I have seen of this blog, it is a well-written, informative source of information about local issues in my hometown. While democracy is in distress all over the nation, and while it is doing much better in Oregon than it is in other parts of the country (I glance four miles to my left from where I sit now), it would still be a shame to see a resource like this disappear.

Death in the Blogosphere: Christopher Frankonis of the Portland Communique

Portland Communique
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