In a nation of one newspaper towns and muted local discourse, bloggers are pushing traditional journalists by gnawing hard on local issues. They're reading legislation, attending city council meetings, questioning the coverage and editorial posture of the local press – and forcing people to take notice of issues that might otherwise be ignored.On a similar note, Tim Tagaris of the Swing State Project, announced at MyDD that he has launched an initiative to try and force all of the Democratic State Parties to adopt blogs as part of the party mechanism.
It's hard to point to a local election last November in which blogs made a decisive difference – the paid bloggers who helped John Thune beat Tom Daschle in the South Dakota Senate race come to mind, and blogging candidates like Jeff Thigpen, who ousted the incumbent Register of Deeds in Guilford County, NC, may have gained some incremental advantage. But clearly local poli-blogging is beginning to come of age, especially in relatively well-wired urban communities with some critical mass of web-aware readers.
Here's the intro to the new site:
Did you know that 3/4 of the Democratic state party websites lack(ed) the most basic tools for two-way communication with the grass/netroots?
This project is a grassroots effort encouraging all 50 Democratic state parties to not only put a blog on their official website, but to use it effectively. The Internet is the only medium of communication available for mass two-way communication. It is not only an effective fundraising tool (the language most "professionals" speak), but has tremendous organizational and communicative benefits most fail to recognize.
The time has long passed to build an effective communication infrastructure online. If the good folks in Washington, D.C. don't want to do it, then the netroots will pick up the slack once again.
If one of the states listed below does not have a blog on their website, please consider "adopting" that state, especially if you reside within its borders. As a "foster parent" to the communications wing of that state party, your objective is to politely convince them through emails and phone calls to put a blog on their state party webpage. If your state already has a blog, please visit it and thank them for providing the tools necessary for a dialogue.