Boston is not a two-newspaper town. And it hasn't been for quite a while.
The last open mayoral race happened 30 years ago. Before widespread access to the Internet. Before Facebook. Before Twitter. When big city newspapers had a monopoly on the news agenda.
That monopoly no longer exists.
Just take a look at what happened when Mayor Thomas Menino announced he isn't seeking reelection. He spoke with the Globe and Herald the day before the announcement.
But most political insiders and plugged-in Boston residents read about it before the two newspapers were able to put their stories up, because the news first appeared on the Twitter feed of former Phoenix reporter David Bernstein. The Dorchester Reporter confirmed the news with its sources, and quickly put up a story. At the bar at the Omni Parker House Hotel, others saw the news as it flashed across a flat-screen television tuned to Channel 5.
Boston has become a multi-outlet town. Besides community newspapers like the Dorchester Reporter, there are a number of places and people that news-hungry consumers can go to get their political fix: Universal Hub, David Bernstein's blog, Boston Business Journal, Adam Reilly at WGBH, the folks at Boston magazine, Commonwealth magazine, WBUR, Jon Keller at WBZ, Janet Wu at WCVB, Chris Lovett at BNN and New England Cable News. That’s an incomplete list, by the way, but a good start.
And that’s not even including the national outlets likely to swing through to get a look at a race that has already overshadowed a battle for a U.S. Senate seat.
So as you hit the campaign trail, take note, mayoral candidates. It’s a new media age, and a different Boston, and that’s a good thing.