The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large

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 […]

A Washington Post alum enjoys The Solomon Scandals blog but wonders why the devil I use “L Street” when referring to the Post. After all, isn’t the paper at 1150 15th Street, N.W.? Well, once upon a time, the Post’s official address was in fact 1515 L Street. And, maybe in tribute to Londoners’ old […]

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 […]

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Skimpy little items in the Washington Post and Politico, on the end of an Oregon inquiry into the sex charges against Al Gore, didn’t do justice to the ex-VP.  Given the seriousness of the charges and Gore’s prominence, wasn’t he worth more than those pathetic follow-ups? Check out a  far more detailed AP report in […]

Daniel Schorr’s acuity seemed to grow with age, perhaps because he had that much extra history stored in his brain to compare with the news of the day. Sympathy to his family and friends. The photo is of Mr. Schorr with Scott Simon, his colleague at National Public Radio. Now a question for the media. […]

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 […]

Newest member of the TBD blog network in the Washington area is is none other than the Georgetown Dish. It’s the same hyperlocal site I’ve been mentioning for some months now because of the fame of the neighborhood and the lively writing—and, yes, a founder named Beth Solomon. Georgetown is home to ex-Washington Post editor […]

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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 […]

Washington is full of people telling others how to live their lives or at least wishing they could. Same for the media world. I call it the Mink Stole Ladies Syndrome, based on a party scene in The Solomon Scandals from the D.C. of several decades ago. Sally Sterling Quinn, with her judgmental dissections of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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Alan "Newsosaur" Mutter balked at paying the $450 that the San Francisco Chronicle wanted to charge for a "one-day run of a crappy-looking, 182-word death notice." So what does the Washington Post, here in the D.C. area, bill for such notices? "$9.21 per line, with a minimum charge of $64.47 (which includes up to seven […]

The Solomon Scandals is mostly about yesterday, but e-books do show up briefly in the afterword. We learn about the Scandals as people looked back on them many decades later in the 21st century. So what’s it like to read Scandals electronically on the just-released iPad—via the Kindle e-store or otherwise? As both a reader […]

Update, March 19: Hooray! The Post app in its current form now lets you change type size more gracefully. Tap the screen while reading a story and you’ll see the options. – D.R. Seymour Solomon, the real estate magnate in my D.C. newspaper novel, is among the Washington Telegram’s biggest advertisers and pals around with […]

The Solomon Scandals is a reporter’s novel, with editors and the publisher in the way of truth and decency. If nothing else, an ideological chasm gapes in the newspaper business between editorial coolies and publishers. Reporters tend to be far, far more liberal at many dailies than are the publishers. So what to make of […]

How closely should the world follow VIP journalists and politicians and—for that matter—celebrities in general? “Newspapers spend too much time explaining themselves.” So  said Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of the Washington Post; and a media watcher even gave the pronouncement a name—the Brauchi Doctrine. Look, Marcus. Your paper is in decline for the moment despite […]

In The Solomon Scandals, I have a little fun with a hyperspecialized Yalie named Rexwood Garst, a reporter at a Washington Post-type newspaper. “Serbo-Croatian,” says this young resume jock who lives in a converted carriage house in Georgetown, “that’s the key. I know how to speak it.” It all jibes with my suggestion that the […]

Firing back at the New Republic’s Gabriel Sherman, Dana Milbank at the Washington Post is spot on when he says the death watch on the Post newspaper is premature. I’ve given my own two cents on survival strategies. That said, Milbank needs to remember that the Washington Post Company’s priorities are less journalistic and more […]