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No Smoking, Typewriters or Fedoras in This “City Room”

The New York Times metro reporting team has launched its new blog, City Room, with a flattering profile of Streetsblog by Sewell Chan, the web site's bureau chief.

Regardless of the flattery (and legendary columnist Pete Hamill's recent admonition not to "waste your time with blogs") I suspect City Room points to the future of professional journalism and newspaper reporting.

Here's what former DOT spokeswoman Kay Sarlin had to say about Streetsblog:

Before Streetsblog launched, there was no centralized forum for people who are passionate about transportation. Advocates gained a powerful ally with its inception, because reporters and government officials started reading the site. Often, Streetsblog's greatest strength is posting photos that highlight a problem. When they show dozens of bikes crowded together next to a Williamsburg L stop, it becomes clear that more people are choosing to ride bicycles and that on-street bicycle parking is needed. They help the conversation become focused on 'How can we fix this?' instead of 'Is this really a problem?'

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