For as long as I can remember Worcester has been a black hole as far as media is concerned. The Telegram and Worcester Magazine definitely do their fair share but aside from the work of Scott Zoback neither of the papers have really ever had that ear to the ground journalism that defines what it means to live work and play in the city of Woo. Television is a total wasteland aside from WCTR Channel 3 news on the cable (which seems to have zero web presence) and WCCA public access television. Radio has always been a little better with WXLO, WSRS and The Pike on the FM and WCRN (who still hjave no real website at all), and WTAG on the AM giving exposure to many things Worcester. Even Boston heavy weight WAAF hasn't forgotten their Worcester roots and probably pays the most attention to the city out of any of the Boston media outlets. WICN, WCUW, and WCHC are nice alternatives on the lower end of the dial as well.
I think that 2008 will be remembered as the year internet based media exploded in the city. Between all the blogs, the web video magazine Worcester Love and Mike Benedetti's informative 508 podcasts you really don't need to look much further then your computer anymore to figure out what is going on in Worcester at any given time.
The culmination of all this though and also a result of the fallout of Womag being sold seems to be the emergence of several online Worcester based news and magazine websites. Here is a quick rundown of some of them.
Worcester Wired is a site that seems to have just sprung up over the past month and looks like it may be the only one out of all of these sites so far that looks as though it may be positioning itself as an online challenger to Womag's alt weekly throne. It's a great looking site that appears easy to navigate and is probably worth at least a once a day stop.
Just like it's discontinued print version, Blank Canvas Magazine's new online version will be one to check in on every once in a while. The content that is here is great but I have a feeling that new content will be added quite sporadically. Still, when something is put up on the site it will certainly be worth your time.
No site is more a result of this online media explosion then Real Worcester. Launched just last week Real Worcester's goal is to be a one stop shopping location for all online Worcester news and info. All your favorite blogs and all your Telegram and Womag headlines are linked off of this site. Add to that that they are also going to have original content and this should be a fun site to watch develop. (Full disclosure: I have been tapped to do a weekly music column on the site as well as contribute other writing as I see fit).
I am not sure just how long ago it started but the grandaddy of sites like these has to Worcesterite.com. Worcesterite was formerly called Volcano Boy but changed it's name this year to reflect it's hometown and make it more inviting for people of all walks of life to peruse the information there. Almost more of a discussion board then anything else it is a great place to go to get some publicity for an event or to rant about the latest city council vote. As the elder statesman of Worcester's online community I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Worcesterite make a move in 2009 to put itself squarely at the front of this online media explosion.
2009 should prove to be a very fun year to watch the interwebs in Worcester. See you there.