Local news blog West and Clear has ceased publication. “Unfortunately,” writes W&C contributor Steve Smith in the blog’s farewell post, “our real-life demands have left us [contributors] with too little time to maintain this site in the style to which we hoped you would become accustomed.”
A shame all around: for readers, because most bloggers aren’t beholden to advertisers or special interests and can speak freely, candidly, and truthfully about hot issues, and a shame for other media outlets, because competition is healthy.
Are blogs vital to democracy? No, at least according to Frank Rich here. Investigative journalism is, and most bloggers either can’t pull off in-depth reportage or have no reason to, which is why we will always need news organizations. But many blogs –– the serious non-Perez Hilton ones –– are vital to cultural literacy, and of all of the local blogs, West and Clear was by far the most thoughtful, engaging, and crisply designed. A shame.