City Paper is not for tourists
The front of today’s Washington Post Metro page carried a this little nugget: “Washington Post Launches D.C. Blog”
Veteran readers could have edited that headline. It’s more like, “Washington Post Re-Launches D.C. Blog”
The subject of all this launching is the D.C. Wire, which is supposed to be a blog on politics and life in the District. It’s also one of the paper’s most ill-fated attempts to wrap the newsroom around the Internet. It first kicked off in February 2006, with a mission of putting D.C. politics out there in its most granular form.
It didn’t work.
With just a small crew of D.C. politics staffers fueling the thing, it fast became one of those low-frequency blogs that no one ever clicks on. Its archives tell the tale: In the same year it launched, for example, it took off the entire month of August. Perhaps someone forgot to tell the bloggers that Ben Bradlee no longer ran the newsroom.
And from there, the project sort of fizzled. The last time it recorded any blogging activity was last August.
The relaunched D.C. Wire calls on six writers to bear the burden of keeping the thing updated: David Nakamura, Dion Haynes, Theola Labbé, Sylvia Moreno, Yolanda Woodlee, and Nikita Stewart.
With blogs like this one and DCist totally tearing up the Internet, however, Posties have clearly decided that they cannot afford to cede the territory. “I want the Post to be as competitive…as possible on all these fronts,” says Nakamura.
OK, but how do you make sure that the thing doesn’t bonk again? “The key is definitely to have everybody who is part of this buying into it,” says Nakamura. “What we’re trying to accomplish is filling in the coverage.”