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February 17, 2009

Blogging Burlington Politics

Bob Kiss and Haik 02.01.09 light small No, I'm not talking about what we're doing here on Blurt. We actually get paid for our reporting. And we're happy about that.

Haik Bedrosian, on the other hand, is not getting paid to blog about Burlington politics, but he does it anyway. Exhaustively. It's impressive.

Haik runs BurlingtonPol, a hyperlocal blog that covers Queen City politics. That's him at the right with Mayor Bob Kiss, in a photo from his blog.

Haik is a native Burlingtonian and former Burlington City Councilor. He drove the night shift for Benways Taxi for a summer. In other words, he's got some institutional memory, and he knows the ins and outs of the system.

He's not always the most reliable narrator — he reserves the right to lie to his readers in the disclaimer on the site, for example. And he sometimes allows his interview subjects to vet their copy. As in, retract their quotes — a major journalistic no-no. He also occasionally replaces his blog with a picture of Andy Kaufman. So you'll click on his URL expecting to see his blog, and all you get is... Andy Kaufman.

Yes, he admits that his blog is a "shabby, amateur" political experiment. But I love it. Haik is doing what everyone hopes citizen journalists will do — he's keeping an eye on local government. He's one more critic examining the way the city is run. And best of all, he does actual, shoe-leather reporting.

"I write from the heart and I tell the truth as I see it without fear or favor," Haik writes on his "About This Blog" page. Amen, brother!

Here are some links to Haik's March elections coverage. And be sure to read the comments on his posts. The discussions can be rather lively.

Haik proimses to deliver his final two mayoral candidate profiles soon. Incidentally, Seven Days staffer Ken Picard finishes up his candidate profiles tomorrow, with a story about Independent Dan Smith. You'll find it in tomorrow's paper and on our website.

Oh, and did I mention that Haik also has a radio show on the Radiator, 105.9 FM? Tune in to the Haik Bedrosian Radio Program, 10-11 a.m. on Saturdays, according to the Radiator website. Of course, Haik's blog says his last show started at 11. I'm not sure who to believe...

Haik's da man. All hail.

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