Monday, February 23, 2009

Paul Andrews on the Online PI


SJ suspects an HP-PI would work, except ....for a business model. From what I hear the Huffington Post runs on a budget that would not support the editorial and reporting staffs of the current PI. HP succeeds because it gets vast amount of free content under fair use. BUT, that content needs to be there. The dilemma, as I see it, is that we are living at the bottom of the news well. Who is going report on Ken Griffey, Microsoft? How does one generate the revenue to pay editorial writers and columnists?

It seems to me that Paul has hit the essence of why people read HP and Drudge. These two sites are unique in offering a broad portal to the news.

I read the Huf and Drudge each morning as my newspaper. I also subscribe to the NY times. Obviously the Times is a real newspaper with great reporting .. something the HP and DR lack. However, by the time I get to read the NYT, I have already seen most of what I want for the day ..including important stories in the NYT itself. Put it differently, the NYT can not compete as a news source with and aggregator who the WA Post, the London Times, Granma, Spiegel, AP, Al Jazeera, etc etc.

We could obviously use Yahoo or any other agglomeration site for the same job. What HP and Drudge add is exactly what Paul says .. a dash of personality and bias. Crosscut does not succeed in doing this on a local level for two reasons ... first, it is too effin local. Crosscut reads more like an enlarged version of the Laurelhurst Clarion than anything else. HA is better because of the leadership of David, but it lacks a news agglomeration feature. Second, I am sad to say, Bavid Brewster has chosen a crew of writers who lack the flash on .. well the flash of HA. Put Goldy and Earling, Josh and John and Paul at the head of Crosscutt and it might actually work!

Imagine further that this new PI, offered the local movers and shakers a bully pulpit to write, .. again modeled on the HP. How can Crosscut compete with a site where Greg Nickles, Ron Sims, Dino Rossi, etc know they can vent their ideas to an audience?

An entity l;ike this might be able to support a few writers. The danger would be that the New PI would lack a reporting staff. What does it cost to provide the needed local reportage?
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1 comment:

Paul Andrews said...

Thanks Stephen, very thoughtful. Wish the Goldy et al thing could happen but we need a hugely patient and magnanimous benefactor ;^)