Peter Passi and Brandon Stahl cover issues related to the city of Duluth. Follow BUZZ on Twitter.
All good things
I wasn't the one who named, or even started BUZZ Duluth. It was started by former DNT city reporters Chris Hamilton and Patrick Garmoe at a time when the word from on high was to put more effort into increasing web content. Then Hamilton left for Hawaii, I shifted into his spot from covering health care, and the blog ... sorta died. Well, it was dead before that, because no one read it. And no one read it because the content was fairly pathetic. At the time I remember the thought about the DNT blogs went something like "if we have something interesting, why wouldn't we just put it in the paper?" I think Patrick blogged about new library book releases. Seriously.
A couple months after the Ness/Bell election we started putting more effort into it, and we soon realized the blog was a place to go more in depth on stories, solicit reader feedback, expand on stories in the printed paper, or to take a look at mini-controversies that aren't usually of interest to the printed paper's readers.
Sometime around mid-2008 or so the BUZZ became the most read blog at the DNT not named the Attic, and then after the Attic went blank we took the top spot over. All this despite the hundreds, if not thousands, of spelling and grammar errors on the blog.
One of the truly great joys I've had over the last couple of years is meeting a stranger or a source who I've never spoken to before say to me "I read your blog all the time." Sometimes a reader posts something particularly brilliant in the comments section, or other times a commenter brings me down to earth and lets me know that something I wrote was insanely idiotic. Sometimes what I've posted has gotten nasty responses from elected officials, other times it's ended up as fodder in a city council meeting. This is all cool stuff that tells me this blog has made an impact, albeit rather small in the large scheme of things.
Alas, my part of the blog will soon be at an end. In three weeks I'll take over as the DNT's investigative/special projects editor, which will allow the paper to bring you more of the kind of in-depth reporting *we hope* you want. (I mean, that is what you want, right? ) I'll still be spending my time making life miserable for whoever we've put in our targets, but because many of my posts come from being on the daily city beat, unfortunately, that means I won't be blogging here as much. I'll still try to post here when I have something to say or have a story where a blog post can be used to expand on some details.
In the meantime, I'll still be blogging for the next three weeks, and then after that maybe we could have a week of guest bloggers (speaking of which, if anyone is interested in guest blogging, email at email@example.com). And then after that, I don't know. This blog takes a lot of work (a lot of it done off the clock), so whoever takes over as the city hall reporter might not have the time to put into this.
And now if you'll excuse me, I believe I have something in my eye.