Washington Post vs. Allbritton’s TBD Web startup plans: BOTH sides could do better

image 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 Post-blessed blogger from overwhelmingly African-American Prince George’s County? And such neglect of large stretches of Northern Virginia, despite the inclusion of  bloggers from Richmond and Baltimore in the seven-member network? Mediaite correctly picks up on those deficiencies. Hey, is the Post having trouble recruiting bloggers from places like PG? And—this is just a question, nothing more—might some bloggers be unacceptable to the Post because they’re too uppity? Or don’t feel like providing free labor to a multibillion-dollar conglomerate like the Post Company? The latter is a big reason why Maryland Political Watch spurned an offer.

image More positively for the Post, judging from what I’ve read, I’m not sure if its rivals at Allbritton Communications are doing all they should to provide comprehensive coverage, if you go by various reports. I’m a big links fan, but I still see too much dependence on bloggers and smaller news outlets. Beyond that, I more or less agree with Allbritton’s Jim Brady—this isn’t necessarily a winner-takes-all contest. Then again, with enough resources deployed well, the Post could better safeguard its existing local franchise against Allbritton’s TBD.com.

(Updated at 8:30 a.m., April 23, to include mention of Maryland Political Watch.)

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David Rothman

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