|« Big Endorsements For Dold||Hoffman Slam and New Ad in IL-SEN »|
Media Tue Jan 19 2010
Last year, political consultant and occasional Mechanics contributor Mike Fourcher and former Chicagoist, TimeOut Chicago, and current Playboy editor (though not strictly speaking a playboy editor) Scott Smith organized the Chicago Media Future Conference to help new and traditional media types get their bearings and at least begin to talk about what the media was going to look like in the future.
Fourcher may know: today, along with Patrick Boylan, he is officially launching the Center Square Ledger, "Your Definitive Neighborhood Guide to North Center, Lincoln Square and Ravenswood Manor".
There are some "microlocal" (or "hyperlocal" depending on your preference) political stories there: specifically about the heated Madigan-Steans state Senate race. As local politics bleeds out of the large media outlets, local media like the Ledger will be the only place to get verified "news" (as opposed to message board or forum gossip) about these kinds of street fights. At least, that's the thinking: the reality is that the Sun-Times and the Tribune haven't been covering these kinds of politics for years, and not without good reason.
Neighborhood papers have always existed, and always provided coverage of these local street level politics that are of interest to a pretty narrow group of people. But as reporting talent drifts away from the big institutions and spreads itself across the web, outlets like the Ledger may end up not only picking up where shrinking traditional political media left off, but actually creating something new: a new strata of good political journalism at a level of focus we've never really had, and infinite availability.