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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Twitter has been abuzz with talk about The Price of Typos. Here’s the angle in the essay that most intrigues me:  the possible differences in the particular literary gifts of good and rotten spellers. On the New York Times site, Virginia Heffernan says: “A writer with a mind that doesn’t register how words are spelled […]

In the middle of the Great Library Debates raging on the Atlantic site and elsewhere, I had to neglect something. But now here’s my take on the departure of Jim Brady as general manager of the TBD hyperlocal news site. Brady wanted a mix of linking and original reporting, but as I see it, TBD […]

Right here in the Washington, D.C. area, TBD is one of the most-watched rolls of the dice in American journalism. TBD stands for “To Be Determined,” a hyper-logical way to cover the news and run a site. Here’s to follow-ups, of which the American press does far too few, especially on grubby local stories! I’m […]

Crisp, lively Web pages are greeting visitors to the new TBD hyperlocal site owned by Allbritton Communications. Here in Alexandria, VA, I hate the D.C.-centric lead story, but I’ll get to that in a moment—and remember, TBD has just fired up. In the wake of the launch today, I’m more upbeat than ever about this […]

In judo, you can use a big guy’s weight against him, and the same applies in business, especially the news kind. Reading the Washington Post story on the TBD local news startup—which will compete against the Post, AOL’s Patch local network and the Washington Examiner—I couldn’t help but think “judo.” This morning TBD is reaping […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mediaite has it right. Halfhearted measures like a kind-of local blog network are not enough to protect the Washington Post’s domination of D.C.-area news and opinion. The  Post’s new blogger network is just a start and merely one measure; but it’s still a far cry from what I’d do in L Street’s place. Why no […]

A new online newspaper, the TheGeorgetown Dish, is starting up right in the neighborhood of Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn and other VIP journalists. Beth Solomon—no relationship to the fictitious government landlord in The Solomon Scandals, thank you—is the editor and publisher. She has worked at ABC News and Voice of America among other places. Robb […]