Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Competition makes me want to push harder on property tax reform

Competition makes us better. No doubt about it. The hyper local news site, Patch, was sold last week. The sites are still up, but they're basically running canned copy through. I'm guessing they're holding them together for the new owner to decide what to do with them. Patch made us a little bit better because they beat us to the punch on more than one story. Nothing huge, just your run of the mill stories that most people don’t pay a whole lot of attention to, but as a former police reporter, I didn’t like getting beat on any story. Just for the record, I still don’t. When they first launched a few years ago they did their hiring right through our ranks. I believe every local Patch site was started with a journalist that was at the time working for our company, so it wasn’t your typical hyper local site started by someone who thought it would be cool to have their own news outlet. These were real, workaday journalists, some with more experience than others, but trained journalists nonetheless. And when I thought about that, the original “I’m glad they’re gone” feeling started fading away. Anytime colleagues, even former colleagues, are left without a beat to cover, it leaves a bit of an empty feeling. In this week's rant I talk a little bit about Patch, but the focus is on journalism. Hopefully, people will realize, someday soon, that local journalism is their voice, their eyes and ears on government.

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