The Future of Journalism's in a Politician's Pet Newsroom

The recent blows to print journalism are great news for politicians: They can afford to own news outlets again, just like in the colonial era! Even local politicians can afford their own newsrooms.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (pictured) is leading the way, according to LA Observed: The politico's website is overseen by former latimes.com editor Joel Sappell; contributors include another former Los Angeles Times editor and a former Newsweek correspondent.

The articles wouldn't be out of place in a local newspaper. You've got your anecdotal ledes; your "quiet" and "bittersweet" response to injustice; a quirky fish-out-of-water character shaking up a local organization; a followup on failed legislation; a listicle.

But said listicle gives the briefest acknowledgment of "critics" of a proposed subway line, and instead rattles off seven arguments in support of the plan, supported by such "proponents" as "Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, an MTA board member." A story on an anti-STD media campaign is sure to mention the "crucial infusion of $700,000... [from] Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky," who elsewhere is busy "warning homeowners to avoid solicitations from" certain con artists.

None of which is particularly scandalous since a politician's website is supposed to be filled with propaganda, and as far as propaganda type content goes, this "experiment" is very light on the dogma, and very readable. So cheer up, imperiled journalists: Dabbling in flackery might not feel so dirty, after all. And it pays!