PubliCola Adds Life

PubliCola Expanding News Coverage

By Josh Feit April 30, 2010

Judging from our reader survey and our analytics, and counting the comments on our posts—the reason you guys come to PubliCola (and keep coming back) is because of our news coverage. You get your news about elections, city hall, and local politics (often first) from PubliCola.

With election season heating up, we've decided to focus, even more than before, on news and politics. This means, for starters, we're adding another staff news writer. However, it also means we'll be scaling back our arts coverage and our Nerds. This is a bummer. Writers like Anand Balasubrahmanyan and Alexandra Bush (MusicNerd and FilmNerd respectively) have been with PubliCola since day one—back when the Cola office was at Online Coffee on Olive Way, and we held staff meetings in my living room (and tried to hold one at a bar on Phinney Ridge, but Chris Kissel got us kicked out because he wasn't 21 yet.)

Other Cola contributors like Heidi Broadhead (our ArtsNerd), Sam Machkovech (our GameNerd), and hip-hop writer Jonathan Cunningham joined midstream. All of them are down-to-earth, fantastic brains and killer writers—I'd say Anand is the most poetic music writer in Seattle today. But paying freelance writers for a handful of culture posts (as opposed to hiring them full time, which we can't do) is not the best use of our money when readers want more of PubliCola's news and politics coverage.

We also know that you're reading BikeNerd (Josh Cohen) and Dan Bertolet (HugeassCity)—probably because it fits right in with the urban politics coverage that's at PubliCola's foundation. So, they'll still be posting a ton (along with Kissel.)

Let's not sugar coat. It is a tough time for news publications—print, the web, everything. Our change in course is definitely a sign that we're still trying to figure out this whole experiment in online media. We're learning—and fine tuning—as we go along.

All we really know is this: People were afraid the web would lower the standards of jouralism, but we believe journalism will raise the standards of the web. And that's what we're setting out to do.
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