Or perhaps just decided to move to the back of the bus? NewsOne’s over-reliance of Associated Press article recycling is pitiful. Online-only outlets BlackAmericaWeb and The Root manage to do far better, probably with fewer resources at their disposal. A post over at Black Web 2.0 just before the holiday has a few interesting insights on the rolling over dead of traditional black media outlets. I mean seriously, do even older folk read the Afro these days? I’m sad to report that the Afro-American newspaper chain doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia entry. So sad. And my parents’ wedding and honeymoon was covered in the Afro’s society pages back in the day! Which was a big deal back then.

I’d put the Afro’s apparent beta site just below NewsOne’s new site in terms of demonstrated innovation and relevance to Black Americans (and those who love them) today. At a time when African-Americans are enjoying greater economic prosperity, social prominence and opportunity than ever in American history and at a time when the digital divide has largely closed on racial/ethnic lines, traditional black media outlets appear to be backwards in their understanding of how and why black folks are online and at large.

Here’s a heapin’ slice from Black Web 2.0 on why black blogs have risen become so important:

As a relatively new website (still in beta) under the direction of one of black radio’s pioneers, Cathy Hughes, NewsOne I believe, has started to contradict the exact mission that black media outlets originally set out to do. The mission of course is to give the “Black Perspective”. Black media outlets of the past, including RadioOne, served as a platform for black writers and commentators to give the world a glimpse of the black perspective. Unfortunately, as some media outlets decide to try their hands online, it seems to me that the black perspective was traded in for convince.

The good news is, as more mainstream sites lose the “Black Perspective” the more black blogs start to pick up the slack. With little to no budget and in most cases no backing from network television or radio, black blogs have quickly began to gain traction. Black Bloggers are now being sought after for their expertise and perspectives and even more importantly black blogs have birthed voices and started important conversations that most black media outlets by nature could not. This is especially evident in the success of Black Political Blogs. A hot political season combined with a black presidential candidate created the perfect climate for growth of the “Black Perspective” in the political niche, but black media outlets for the most part have completely missed the bus.

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