For example: Candidate financial disclosures. For a long time reviewing these was just considered "part of the job"* for poli-bloggers and Metro columnists. No longer it seems:
Mayoral Musings with Nancy Sims:
Money, Honey – I have taken some time to review the reports.
Chronblog's Rick Casey:
I pored over more than 700 pages of campaign finance reports filed late Monday afternoon by the three major mayoral candidates.OK, poring over reports is one thing, actually taking action on what you find is something entirely different. Whether or not you subscribe to Charles Kuffner's politics, when he researches, follows up, and puts in the legwork on posts like this (as opposed to long quotes of others) you understand why his blog appears on political blog lists everywhere. As with his interviews, these posts are reflective of what campaign finance reporting should be.
From a different angle, Slampo's many background pieces on the candidates and their donors provide much-needed context to the numbers found within. Also of note are John Cobarruvias' "spending campaign cash" series of posts.
It's true, except in the case of Slampo, these nuggets of good blogging are found hidden within numerous posts that are of little value or so poorly written as to be unreadable. (or so biased in nature that they will turn most readers off) However, given the state of local politics coverage in the mainstream media**, it's worth it to hunt out these more obscure writings in order to get a better overall picture of the funding, and relationships, behind the candidates that are running for office.
*It should be noted that, for hobby bloggers, the 'job' is an unpaid one, so don't expect the same level of prose and editing that you find in the big publications.
**It should also be noted that some members of MSM don't think there's anything wrong with the coverage they're providing. They feel that they are doing enough and that their value-add is superior to what hobby bloggers and non-profits are adding to the discussion. I have my opinion, I'll leave it up to you to make your own. (My criticism deemed 'not credible' due to my lack of funds to hire a professional copy editor) *I still freely accept pro-bono editing in the comments however All corrections will be given proper credit of course.*