Cox Newspapers Washington Bureau Chief
For regional newspaper chains like Cox, blogging about White House doings is a different sort of experiment, since the Window On Washington blog, which started in April 2006 and includes an array of Washington news, serves publications with differing identities. The bureau caters to 17 newspapers, but only 13 carry the bureau's blogs. "It's hard to make a lot of those local," said Alexander. "We try to make them topical."
Putting White House nuggets in blog form, Alexander said, was simply a way to take advantage of White House correspondent Ken Herman's talents for writing fast and "moving on," as well as his Texas connections. Herman's home base is the chain's second-largest newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, where interest in the Bush administration runs high. Herman's primary labor is writing for print, but popular blog posts have included whimsical video of the stand-up patter of TV correspondents just before a Bush news conference and pictures of Queen Elizabeth's place setting at a White House state dinner.
Herman has more license to write with "attitude" on the blog but prefers "a low snark factor," he said. "Opinion is verboten," he added.
"I look for behind-the-scenes happenings that offer a look at life in the White House. I also, of course, look for the quirky," said Herman.
Alexander said Cox's online traffic "is modest by most blog standards" and nowhere near that of the Chicago Tribune blog The Swamp.