Monday, December 10, 2007

Montana Headlines -- it was one year ago today

It hardly seems possible, but Montana Headlines is now a one year old blog, with 425 posts under the belt.

While the first thoughts about a blog like this came while reading in the Wall Street Journal about the effect that South Dakota blogs had in critiquing that state's heavily pro-Daschle media outlets in the 2004 election, the more proximate and obvious stimulus for starting it was the shellacking that the GOP took in the 2006 elections.

So, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, after reading the first positive articles about Conrad Burns in the Billings Gazette in probably a year (after the election was over,) the first posts started getting written, and the rest can be found in our archives.

MH's readership has greatly exceeded initial expectations, and we are grateful to the many regular readers who visit nearly every day, from Montana, the D.C. area, and around the country.

Thanks also to the dedicated editorial staff here at MH and to the many readers who have sent us tips, leads, ideas, corrections, and suggestions for improvement. While MH is unapologetically conservative and Republican in orientation, the goal from the beginning has been to try to write as fairly as possible. Many readers will of course disagree with what appears on these pages -- but the intent is to write as little as possible that can be summarily dismissed.

The most valuable critiques and input we receive are those from readers who point out where they feel that MH posts fail to pass that fairness test. To the extent that we remain fair and reasoned in our discourse, it is in no small part due to that feedback.

It will be interesting to see what the coming year brings -- we expect that Montana's political scene will become increasingly complex and interesting. MH will be there through the twists and turns.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary. You've got one of Montana's must-read blogs--with items that consistently are more interesting than most of the editorials and columns in the state's biggest newspapers.

I've said before here that the Gazette would be doing itself a big favor if it were to hire you to write a column, in order to bring a broader perspective to the paper. It boggles my mind that the newspaper industry is so blind to need to appeal to a wide, not a narrow, base of customers.

(If the Gazette had a strongly conservative editorial policy, I would also be recommending that they hire a liberal columnist, by the way. But that's obviously not the case now, and it wasn't when the previous editorial page editor was there.)

Anonymous said...

Congrats MH - Jeff Mangan

Jay Stevens said...

Kudos on your anniversary. You are a welcome addition to the blogging community...

To address anonymous' suggetion that you, or any other blogger, should write opinion for local papers...it's a great idea, but one that's taking root very slowly. Bloggers haven't "earned" an op-ed space: they're not "real" journalists.

When we first started doing this stuff, the media thought we were nuts. (Folks may still feel that way, heh.) So it took a lot of work to even gain acceptance and readership among reporters and editors.

Blogs are catching on: right now, newspapers and magazines are trying to create blogs with journalists. But if Newsweek's hire of Markos Moulitsas is any indication, you might expect to see some of the higher profile bloggers hit the op-ed pages...

Yes, I am available, ha ha! Imagine...getting paid to do this stuff...

craig said...

Hopefully, the first of many.

Well done, sir.

Ed said...

For the record, I would love to see Montana Headlines in the Gazette, though I have reason to believe Montana Headlines isn't interested. Oh, well. I still go to this blog every day, and that will have to do.

montananmainstreetblog said...

You've done an excellent job with your coverage of issues that often get overlooked by the mainstream media. Keep up the great work!