If you can suffer through the puppetshow at the beginning, there is a nice short BlueNC shout out in the middle of this Stateline article.
Making room in the statehouse press tent
By Melissa Maynard, Stateline.org Staff Writer
In the mid-90s, a reporter from the Carolina Journal Online was briefly admitted and then ejected from the North Carolina statehouse press corps, which issues the passes. A legislator had complained that the news outlet’s parent organization, the John Locke Foundation, had partisan conservative leanings and its primary purpose wasn’t gathering news.
But the organization decided to drop the issue and instead cultivate a news-gathering niche that operates outside of the section of the House floor reserved for credentialed press. “The practical value of the credential just wasn’t worth the potential blowback,” says John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation. “I just didn't have any interest in worsening the relationship with the press corps.”
Since then, the definitions and distinctions governing who is and who isn’t a statehouse reporter have only become fuzzier. Raleigh, a nexus for both technological innovators and politicos, is a natural place for new media to take hold. The dwindling of the statehouse press corps due to layoffs and budget cutbacks has helped spawn a range of new media innovations — both by the traditional news reporters left standing and by the host of alternative outlets and bloggers that are attempting to fill the void.
Across the country, traditional media, insider newsletters, opinionated observers and some new media start-ups covering state news are increasingly competing for the online audience. But even as the traditional news coverage changes, if not shrinks, these new products are providing Web visitors access to more information about state government than ever before. The challenge for consumers is finding credible information.
“The real trick for those of us in the capital ‘N’ news business is figuring out how to peacefully coexist with all of these new online outlets and bloggers,” says Mark Binker, a statehouse reporter and blogger at the Greensboro News & Record and vice president of Capitolbeat, a national association of statehouse reporters and editors. “We want to embrace as many people as we can without endorsing people who are not playing the role of honest brokers. That has always been and is increasingly a thorny question for us.”
And while Carolina Journal still isn’t officially a part of the statehouse press corps in North Carolina, it has exploded into a constellation of online, print, radio and TV outlets to be reckoned with in state politics even as the ranks of the official North Carolina statehouse press corps have shrunk. Carolina Journal Online and its online articles, blogs and columns are now visited by 50,000 unique visitors each month, up from 22,950 visitors a year ago. The North Carolina Justice Center is trying to fill a similar niche on the left with its blog, Progressive Pulse.
BlueNC, another liberal blog, hosts live-blogging forums with Democratic candidates, and has become an influential force in primary races.
BlueNC is dedicated to making North Carolina a more progressive and prosperous state. If your intention is to disrupt this effort, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.