Monday, August 23, 2010

Where is the Post on MoCo’s Primaries?

The Washington Post has almost totally thrown in the towel on covering Montgomery County’s primary races. As a matter of fact, if a voter relied on the Post alone for election coverage, he or she might well be unaware that County Council and State Legislative elections were about to be held.

Last year, Post Executive Marcus Brauchli was asked by Post columnist Howard Kurtz about competition from an online venture proposed by Politico founder Robert Allbritton, which later became Kurtz wrote:

Marcus Brauchli, The Post’s executive editor, said that “we take all competition seriously, and I have high regard for what Mr. Allbritton has done with his television stations and Politico.” But he said his newspaper “is very strong in local news. . . . The reach and penetration of The Washington Post in its area makes us the dominant player. We are deeply cognizant that makes us a target of most of our rivals in this area.”
But that’s not true in Montgomery County. The Post has published exactly one article on our Senator vs. Delegate primaries, and that was back in February. The Post has not written any articles about our County Council races.

Consider the following word counts on our primaries in Post newspaper articles written since January.

Council At-Large: 0
Council District 1: 0
Council District 2: 0
District 14 Senate: 0
District 14 House: 0
District 15 House: 0
District 16 House: 0
District 17 Senate: 174
District 18 Senate: 0
District 18 House: 0
District 19 Senate: 0
District 19 House: 0
District 20 House: 0
District 39 Senate: 79
District 39 House: 0

Here’s a hunch. As the Post abandons MoCo political news, readers who are interested in such news will abandon the Post. Then when the Post makes MoCo endorsements, the departed readers will not be reading them, or indeed caring about them.

And so the Post’s slide into MoCo irrelevance continues.