One of the better destinations in my daily rounds of the virtual landmarks is Cape Cod Today, an aggregation of blogs covering local news and opinion around Cape Cod and the islands. (Walter Brooks, theÂ ex-New York Post founder extended an invite to me to contribute, but I am far happier on my own server covering non-Cape Cod stuff as well as the occasional clam rant.)
Cape Cod Today is significant for a number of reasons. First, if a network of bloggers such as the Huffington Post can be said to be the future of national media, then Cape Cod Today is driving home the impact of blogs on local coverage, bringing life to the local “news hole” in a way that a budget challenged daily paper cannot. I don’t see CCT as a replacement for the Cape Cod Times — but as a bit of an anarchy laden, opinion-filled news that brings tired staples of the local press — the police log for example, to vivid life. Cape Cod Today broke the Wampanoag casino scandal last summer, through the reporting of Peter Kenney — aka the Gadfly — a fixture of the local cable-talk radio circuit. That scoop focused a lot of attention on CCT and sealed its reputation as a credible daily news source.
As always, the action is in the comments. Gauging from the ad count, the site is doing pretty well. Here is a transcript of a recent NPR profile of the network.
“He is known as the Blogfather of Cape Cod, Walter Brooks. Since 2003, Brooks has recruited 150 Cape bloggers to cover Cape news from tip to toe. All but five of the bloggers write for free. Most of them turn out opinion pieces. But most of them are also retirees, or are still working in their current professions. Their backgrounds are varied: ex-politicians, ex-policemen, ex-teachers, current teachers, current harbormasters, current artists. Not a pimple-faced pajama wearing basement blogger among them.
Brooks admits many of the blogs on Cape Cod Today are hit or miss. Many of them are nothing more than a daily rant. Nevertheless, he believes they are changing the way news is covered on the Cape, and that theyâ€
re breaking news.”