OK, perhaps it's not the most original headline -- a bit cliche now -- but it does the trick. "At the Keyboard," my attempt at blogging and staying relevant, has returned after being "on hiatus" since June 2008. And it's good to be back.
Of course, a lot has happened in the blogosphere since I last weighed in. These things are now real news makers; they are often go-to sites for journalists, political operatives and news junkies. In many ways -- and I say this with much sadness -- they are helping to make daily newspapers obsolete. The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism released a report last year that showed for the first time, online readership and advertising revenue had surpassed that of print newspapers. The same report also found that 46 percent of Americans get their news online at least three times a week, compared to 40 percent who still don't mind getting their hands covered with newsprint in the morning.
Blogs, websites and social media -- by the way, I'm on Twitter @frankmaurizio -- have made us all editors. We can pick and choose the information we want, and then we can share it. It's a little disheartening for a guy like me, with a degree in journalism and a lot of years in traditional media. But it's exciting too, and I find that, more and more, I am getting online -- either on my computer or my smartphone -- to find out what's going on. I still read newspapers but, these days, they are more of a supplement than my main source of information.
So, with that in mind, here's some breaking news brought to you by "At the Keyboard:"
Schenectady City Court Judge Mark Blanchfield today announced his intention to run for state Supreme Court in the 4th Judicial District. It's an 11-county district, starting in Schenectady and heading north, practically to the Canadian border.
Interestingly, though perhaps not coincidentally, "At the Keyboard" went on hiatus in 2008 so that I could work on Mark's campaign for the state Assembly. That effort didn't work out as we had hoped, but Mark has had his share of electoral successes. He served on the City Council for nine years (three as its president), was appointed to the city court in 2010 to fill a vacancy and won election to a full term in the fall of that year. He has served our community with distinction.
As I did in 2008, I will be lending a hand during Mark's campaign (though, hopefully, with a better result). And I will write about the campaign in this space from time to time. But not often. "At the Keyboard" will offer commentary and information on a wide variety of political, policy and societal issues. I am confident readers will find at least some of it interesting and come back for more.