Time once was that a “watchdog” press would closely scrutinize the work of elected officials and the powerful.
Adversarial journalism was its bread and butter, and relationships with those covered were held at arms length.
Time once was.
Via the James Rainey of the LA Times:
Imagine if the San Francisco Chronicle beefed up coverage of the state capital and asked Gov. Jerry Brown which agencies deserved the most coverage. Or what if Fox News planned to take a closer look at the United Nations with the blessing of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon?
The snickering that ensued would be prolonged, followed by a righteous blast of indignation from other news outlets. Journalism born out of such cooperation would rightly stink of conflict.
That will be at least the initial aroma around the latest journalistic initiative by America’s fastest-growing news outlet, Patch.com. The AOL-owned operation announced this week that it would open hyper-local news sites in Newark, N.J., “in partnership with Newark Mayor Cory Booker.”
“It will be great to have their help, since they are so plugged into the community, to help us identify the places to start,” Arianna Huffington tells Rainey. “But that does not in any way immunize them from criticism or … the kind of journalism we would need to engage in.”