Friday, April 17, 2009

MSM: a pair of papers, but different style

Continuing to take a look at mainstream media in the state, I'll start with the Manhattan Mercury.

First, I'm not a regular reader of the Mercury. I've been unable to find RSS feeds on their website, and that's how I prefer to get most of my news anymore. So, this assessment is with some reservations as I don't read as much of their paper as I do others.

First off, the Mercury seems to do local news well. But they also seem to be unable to do much original reporting when it comes to political news, so that's a strike against them. While the AP is useful, I find the most interesting news comes from original reporting from the various papers across the state, not from the AP.

Their limited coverage combined with limited ways to access what they do have mean the Mercury gets a yellow light. Not great, but not ugly either.

The Hutch News is a part of the Harris News Service network. Any paper that is a part of this news service is quite good. They have stories that you just won't find anywhere else. They also seem to be equal opportunity hitters, Democrat or Republican.

The Hutch News in particular is good. They have good local coverage and I'll say from first hand experience they have covered the first district race like no one else. And unlike the Mercury they offer a RSS feed, although it includes all of their news, which can be maddening sometimes because you have to look through 15 stories before you find the one you want.

Harris News service just announced yesterday that they are closing their Topeka bureau. This is a real loss for the state. The fact is a functioning society depends on a free and honest press, and the Harris News Service was one of the best. I'm very sad to see them go.

The Hutch News gets a green light as good MSM.

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