Newburyport, the Power of Local Political Blogs

Now that Tom Ryan, the editor of the Undertoad, has launched his blog, the Undertoad Blog, this changes all kinds of things.

It’s been said that 2006 is the year of the ”local political blog,” and I guess whoever “they” are, are right.

We’ve seen how powerful national political blogs have been in shaping the reporting of events and news. It looks like the same thing is about to happen on the local political level.

CNN, The New York Times, all the big media outlets now have their own blogs. Are they any good, sure they are. Do people read them, yeh. Do people love them, no.

The blog is the ultimate populist medium. It gives the “everyman” a voice. And what people have found on a national level that the “everyman” voice is a) much more interesting, b) has no allegiance to money or lobbyists or advertising or editors, c) fiercely independent in its thinking, d) because of all of that, immensely powerful.

Maybe because of vast amounts of money, the established media will be able to co-opt the blog bandwagon, but my guess would be that blog readers know that the real info can be found on the populist blogs.

So that brings me to Tom Ryan. With the launching of The Undertoad Blog, Mr. Ryan, with his expansive political network will be able to communicate all sorts of information in “real time.” Case in point, the first blog post was about the axing of Nick Cracknell on a Sunday. Huge story.

This kind of power turns a city like Newburyport, Massachusetts upside down. How this will effect the Newburyport Daily News will be interesting to see. And my guess is that now there will be a number of local Newburyport political blogs, probably from many different political ideologies. After all, this is an “everyman” medium. (In fact, we already have another local blog, the Around the North Shore Blog which was launched yesterday.)

How the local political blog will effect local politics will also be interesting to see. I think we are about to begin to see the beginning of an information revolution, and I for one am really looking forward to the ride.

And Mr. Moak, the firing of Nick Cracknell may end up being one of the most ” Pyrrhic Victories” (a victory won at too great a cost) in Newburyport’s history. Congratulations.

Mary Eaton, Newburyport