08 January 2006

Progressive outreach

it seems clear to me
that the greatest blow to US democracy
in the last 50 years
was Reagan's FCC writing off
the equal-time rule
opening the door to RushCo's 24/7 demagoguery

and that progressive bloggers have reached
a powerful consensus about what they'd say
if equal time were restored

but there's a chicken-egg problem
taking back the FCC
so progressive bloggers need to find
alternate paths of outreach

i've been using alexa.org to monitor
the comparative success of progressive sites
and the standout is huffingtonpost.com
ranking around #2500
while most everyone else languishes
below #50,000

which surely has to do with visibility
which has to do with celebrities
but which has probably plateaued

the problem with most other progressive sites
i suspect
is their narrowness
or humorlessness
or even unhip-ness

so what i'm wishing for
is a hip progressive newsweekly
closer in vibe to Time
than The Nation

that people would pick up
despite the politics
for the fun features
and fun reviews and showbiz gossip

and the political parts would be framed

but not letting THEM set the priorities

rather ignoring their bait-n-switch

taking for granted that readers
want perspective
and need background

but glossy Time production-values
will be way out of reach
until advertisers can be won over

so we need some techno-leverage
to reduce printing costs
and still get national distribution of
something competitive with the Time vibe