I laughed a bit this morning while reading the latest "Wally Edge" column on PolitickerVT.com on the "rumor around the Statehouse" that Rep. Daryl Pillsbury would be challenging Sen. Peter Shumlin and Sen. Jeanette White for one of their seats in November.
Now pushing aside the obvious question of when "legitimate" blogs began running rumors, had this Web site had any actual reporters at the Statehouse, they would know this is far more than a rumor (for more on the out-of-state PolitickerVT and its anonymous editor-in-chief, check out this recent Seven Days article).
Not only did Pillsbury announce LAST YEAR that he would probably be running for the state senate from Windham County, but he officially announced last week, one day before Wally’s column ran, on a Brattleboro radio station. Later that day, Pillsbury trekked up to the reporter’s balcony in the House chambers to give me his official press release.
I don’t normally like to slog on other media outlets for their reporting ’cause we all make mistakes. But this was on my mind this morning as I sifted through old town meeting poll questions that Sen. Bill Doyle had sent along … and I found this gem from 1988: "Do you believe the Vermont news media is doing a good job?"
In the previous decade, the trend has been consolidation and a focus on national news in newspapers. That pendulum is swinging the other way now, I think, and while consolidation won’t be going away, there is an increased focus on local news and local content.
PolitickerVT, along with its sister sites for other nearby states, are trying to exploit that new paradigm with the new technology of blogging, while still sticking to its old guns. I guess we are now at the point where we have to ask ourselves, what is the Vermont media in an age where your news could be coming from a pseudonym with out-of-state masters?