PubliCola Adds Life

Kaushik on the 'Cola

By Sandeep Kaushik June 27, 2011


Been awhile since your Uncle Sandeep wrote for this geeked out, hyper-wonky niche internet political news site, but I‘m back and in charge of PubliCola. Total freedom to do what I want, at least temporarily. At least, anyway, until Josh and Erica take a break from their vacations (sidebar: Josh in West Virginia? who in their right mind vacations in West Virginia?) and have a chance to read this post.

Oh, the absolute power! Oh, the intoxicating glory! The delicious sense of control!

Sandeep Kaushik & Erica C. Barnett

No Josh and Erica for an entire week. Who will wage the war on cars in their absence? Who will psychoanalyze the latest Re-elect Jean Godden press release? Who will breathlessly report on mid-level management turnover in second-tier city departments? Answer: Uncle Sandeep will!

Except I won’t.

Inquiring minds want to know: If some faceless bureaucrat drops a pencil in the cubicle forest when Josh and Erica are out of town and unavailable to report on it, did it ever really happen? Yes it did, because Uncle Sandeep is here to pick up the slack.

Except I’m not.

Kidding aside, I know how valuable this site has become in covering government, politics and public affairs. When Josh came to me in October of 2008 and asked me to help him start a news web site, my first reaction was to tell him that if he tried it, he’d fail, and starve to death in the process. Then I helped him start PubliCola anyway, assuming there was about a one in three chance (at best) of it lasting more than a year. Here we are more than two years later and the site is going strong, and has become an established presence in the local journalism scene. So it’s great to be back (briefly) doing this, if only as a testament to the fact that it is possible—not easy, but possible—to make news coverage work in this era of multiple distractions and free web content.

So I tip my hat to Josh and Erica, but I can’t do what they do. No, your Uncle Sandeep is too old, too fat, too happy, too busy. Instead, while I’m filling in this week I’ll post some random observations and deep thoughts about politics, along, perhaps, with a few wonky tidbits that come my way. I’ll try to stay away from stuff I’m working on, and yes, I’ll persevere to flag the thicket of conflicts that call into question my journalistic credibility -- and when I fail, I’m sure you’ll be there to remind me.

I know you—and by you I mean dedicated, geeked-out, hyper-wonky PubliCola reader—are terrified of going off Josh-and-Erica cold turkey, but think me as the Methadone to their journalistic heroin. They’ll be back soon enough to give you your morning fizz (or is that fix?). And in the meantime, maintain.
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