Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GONSO for new media?

There is a new statewide online news service helmed by several ex-journalists that should interest small town Georgians. Called Georgia Online News Service -- or GONSO for short -- it is the brainchild of ex-Creative Loafing editor John Sugg, famous for his liberal bent, muckraking journalism, and distrust of political and business establishments. Despite Sugg's high-profile reputation, the content and reporting so far has been balanced and diverse, including a column from Ralph Reed and a fascinating story from Bill Osinski on the success of small-town Senoia in preserving its unique downtown and recruiting film makers.

There are still some bugs in the system -- does not appear to work, and it doesn't come up when you search for it on google -- but several of Georgia's top journalists are now writing about statewide news on the site. Many are veterans of the AJC and other top tier publications. It is nice to have someone who focuses on interesting Georgia news on a daily basis other than the Associated Press. Check it out when you have a moment.

My day job is in the communications business, and it is fascinating to see the business of "information delivery" evolve. As the pressure on newspapers and their legacy cost structures (printing presses, delivery, etc.) increases, we will a) either see them shed those structures or b) see more layoffs, and then more independent, online "news" services will emerge. Whether or not this is good for the accuracy and reputation of reporting remains to be seen.

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