New online resource gathers Ohio news in ‘Drudge’-like formatWritten by Scott McKimmy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new Web site, Ohio Media Guide, links news-savvy readers to stories of interest throughout the state with a secondary focus on political issues, according to its founder, Harry Knopp, who described it as similar to the Drudge Report.
The Columbus-based political adviser and aide said the idea originated after friends asked him to stop e-mailing links to them and establish a blog instead. Knopp encountered technical difficulties setting up a blog, so he purchased a domain and paid $50 to host it for one year, launching his brainchild June 15 with “absolutely no budget.”
Eventually he hopes to draw enough visitors to sell advertising and possibly make a profit.
“I figured that was a minimum investment and something I would enjoy doing, so even if nobody read it, it would be fun for me to do,” he explained.
The articles cover happenings people tend to “talk about around the water cooler” rather than hard news, with Knopp filtering tips from friends and associates as well as poring through news sites himself, a pastime he does often anyway. He looks for political topics and those he thinks would interest readers because they’re odd or of a unique nature.
“I won’t be carrying stories about, you know, municipal bonds and things like that. My links are going to be things that people want, so I’ll be carrying a lot of the quirky stories, you know, about the Playboy tryouts in Columbus,” he said, referring to the magazine’s June 19 casting call to select its 55th-anniversary Playmate.
Knopp designed the site himself with no experience and relies solely on word of mouth and self-marketing efforts such as e-mailing friends and organizations, including chambers of commerce throughout the state. He also compiled a link list of media outlets to create user-friendly categories: daily newspapers, nondaily newspapers, television stations, political blogs, editorial cartoons, weather reports, miscellaneous, political columnists and cool stuff.
“That was something I knew that people would find useful because I’ve never been able to find a good list online of links to Ohio media outlets,” Knopp said.
Once a campaign worker for candidates including former West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood and former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.), he often jokingly tells people he’s “one of those deep, dark political operators.” Although his political career affiliations have been Republican, he emphasized that Ohio Media Guide will remain nonpartisan. The content is meant to appeal to those with political tastes rather than support a party, candidate or ideology.
“I felt this site was something needed here because when I did work as an aide and travel with the candidate or the officeholder,” Knopp said, “it was nearly impossible to find a good list of media to look at what was going on in the area we were traveling through that day so I could print off articles for the person I was traveling with.”
On the web visit www.ohiomediaguide.com and click on links for more.