Newspapers are dead. Long live newspapers! As the corpses of newspapers litter the American landscape, they seem to fertilize the sprouting of a bumper crop of new blogs devoted to environment and energy. If you are looking for news, you are unlikely to find it in American newspapers. You will, however, find it online.
The new environmental blogs are often written by the same reporters who used to populate the newshole of dead-tree (now ad-free) editions of metropolitan dailies. And the result is MORE, not fewer stories. Don't be too encouraged, though. The festering gangrene that eats the flesh and brains of daily papers may yet be proven deep and irreversible. What is clear is that the consolidation of ownership and stockholder greed that destroyed the papers continues.
A lot of good people are taking the buy-out and going to work for new-breed online publications — often unaffiliated with newspapers.
The burgeoning of blogs may just be a way for new owners to squeeze more work for less pay out of their dwindling crew of writers. But the blogs are turning into something new. Something that is not a newspaper. Something that may be the future of environmental journalism. Something that has ads.
Or not. The WatchDog at least is excited to tell its journalist-readers how much environmental newswriting is still out there to fertilize their imaginations. Many of the new online media are doing investigations, turning over rocks the Mainstream Media shy away from, and breaking important stories.
Here are some of the newest or best of the recent crop of paper- or magazine-affiliated blogs.
- Dot Earth. New York Times.
- Dateline Earth. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- Greenspace. Los Angeles Times.
- Watchdog Earth. Louisville Courier-Journal.
- The Vine. The New Republic.
- Bright Green Blog. Christian Science Monitor.
- Bay & Environment. Baltimore Sun.
- Environmental Capital. Wall Street Journal.
- Green Inc. New York Times.
- Green (not a blog, but an uncategorizable mash-up). Washington Post.
- Planet DFW (recently inactive). Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- PDX Green. Portland Oregonian.
- The Observatory (science blog with strong environmental interest). Columbia Journalism Review.