The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large
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Imagine working for a newspaper and vigorously knocking its iPhone app as a waste of money, even at $2 a year. That’s exactly what Rob Pegoraro, the Faster Forward columnist at the Washington Post, did without consequences—a good reflection on both him and his bosses. But it turns out that Rob is leaving the Post […]

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Revenge of the copy editors? Laid off from the Winston-Salem Journal, which sent their jobs out of town, 18 copy editors bemoaned their plight. Poignant videos reminded us of the victims’ familiarity with their community—of their awareness that “Robinhood” rather than “Robin Hood” is the correct name of a road there.  So here’s a modest […]

The Washington Post’s iPad app is finally out. No, The Product isn’t quite the equal of the rival New York Time app unveiled in the spring and refined since then. But the Post’s video promo leaves the Times’s marketing in the dust. I test-drove the iPad app today and suspect that Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward […]

Update: Jim Moran has since told me there was no quid pro quo, that the Indiana real estate developer's contributions were part of an arrangement by which the developer contributed to many people at once, apparently with an unrelated issue in mind. I appreciated the Moran response and will let readers judge for themselves. I’m […]

In The Solomon Scandals, George McWilliams runs a word-mill at the fictitious Washington Telegram—using his Rolex to time reporters writing stories or pumping news sources on the phone. A little at odds with the style and conduct of most executive editors today? Definitely. But that’s Mac, come down to D.C. from New York after careers […]

Late to the hyperlocal series in the Solomon Scandals blog? In reverse order, here’s a list of key parts. —How hyperlocal journalism can help big media grow closer to local communities, just posted today. —TBD D.C.-area news site not a steady riser in early Alexa stats. But let’s wait for the full story. —Crisp, lively […]

Update: Other hyperlocal-related posts here. I killed my Washington Post subscription several years ago, one of millions of Americans to give up on printed newspapers. My Reason #1 was the trash factor. But many readers have other, less friendly explanations. More than a few trust the press about as much as they do HMOs, banks […]

The TBD.com hyperlocal site for the Washington area went live this morning, and I’ll be updating some analysis I was about to publish here. Stay tuned for the analysis in the next hour or two. Update: Here it is. Some live chat at TBD.com is scheduled to help introduce the community to the site.  It’’ll […]

The Patch neighborhood news network—the screenshot’s from a New Jersey site—is coming soon to some Virginia and Maryland suburbs. Yet another sign that the Washington Post needs to get more serious about hyperlocal? And how about the growth of another hyperlocal network, Examiner.com? Or the latest book on the Post, which, although a “valentine” on […]

My thoughts on hyperlocal news—prompted by the forthcoming launch of TBD, the Web and TV combo for the D.C. area—have drawn visits from some powerful news organizations. While they’re at it, perhaps they can check out A national information stimulus plan: How iPad-style tablets could help educate millions and trim bureaucracy—not just be techno toys […]

In 2004 Baristanet—the lively hyperlocal network that helped inspire similar operations in several states—started writing up picnics, schools and other neighborly news in Essex County, NJ. Some five years later, The New York Times set up shop with blogs for Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange, all in the same county. Last month one of the […]

Update, July 19: This should probably be online by 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight tonight. Lots to say! – D.R. Hey, did you think I’d stop at How TBD could use hyperlocal journalism to kick the Washington Post’s butt? The strategy ideas for the Post will appear here over the weekend or on Monday. The same […]

Update, Aug. 19: TBD’s current coverage is a long way from what I propose below. The Alexa Web traffic measurement service is hardly scientific, and besides, TBD has just started up; but if the service on the mark, the new site is far from an instant success. I lack access to TBD’s internal stats. – […]

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Nope, TBD and affiliate bloggers, I’m not done yet. I have a few other ideas to try out this week—based on the failures and successes of  hyperlocal media outside the D.C. region. Why is a local blog network thriving, while the New York Times’ network couldn’t score big in the same geographical area? And in […]

You already know if you’ve been following the Solomon Scandals blog. My name is David, I’m a newsaholic, and I’m cheering for the TBD news startup to thrive here in the Washington area. But will topics like sports and food elbow aside civic matters at times because of the personal passions of TBD’s affiliate bloggers? […]

Update, July 2: Here, including further comments from TBD. Thanks for listening. – D.R. The TBD Web startup for local news in the D.C. area has added Allergy Life in Loudoun, U Street Girl, Rockville Central and other blogs, pushing the number of network affiliates past 70. But I’m still not yet seeing enough commitment […]

Update, 1:47 p.m.: Post rival’s local news strategy—a Poynter Institute item. – D.R. My online friend Beth Solomon, publisher of TheGeorgetownDish and absolutely no relative of the Sy Solomon in my newspaper novel, got robbed. A thief carried off Beth’s purse, checkbook, credit cards, wallet, car keys, iPhone, Blackberry, everything, after she left her car […]

My old friend used to handle some PR matters for a union in Northern Virginia, and people still pick his brains. Here’s a rule near the top of his list. Don’t waste too much time trying to get into the Washington Post, even on the most newsworthy stories. L Street probably will just ignore you. […]