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A funny thing happened while I was typing away at my nationally- and globally-focused blog:  The local blog journalism movement mushroomed right underneath my nose and I had no idea it existed, I'm sorry to say, until relatively recently.

Just as the success of Fire Dog Lake is what showed even the old-school press diehards that nationally-focused bloggers weren't just Op-Edders in jammies, rising local blogs like Minnesota Campaign Report, Minnesota Monitor and A Bluestem Prairie are showing that even on a shoestring, online journalists can work the same turf as their old-school print brethren.

For specific examples, follow me past the fold.

Minnesota Monitor has covered and/or broken a slew of stories lately:  the Michele Bachmann e-mail controversy, the related Michele Bachmann astroturf controversy (which TRex cited in his Late Nite FDL post last night), and the buyout frenzy at the wobbly StarTribune.  They also managed to raise the ire of Michael "Savage" Weiner, who called for their reporters to be "deported".  Gotta love a news source that ticks off the Savage Weiner! 

Minnesota Campaign Report was the first media entity, blog or non-blog, to link the February 2006 resignation of local US Attorney Tom Heffelfinger (and his replacement by wet-behind-the-ears Federalist Society member Rachel Paulose) to the mass firings done of US Attorneys by the Bush Junta (see here and here).  They also have been engaging in a battle of wits with local Republican blogger and would-be A-lister Michael Brodkorb, and so far seem to be winning.

A Bluestem Prairie is the best source of news on new up-and-coming Congressman Tim Walz (aka The Hardest Working Man in Show Business) of Minnesota's First Congressional District.  Walz is one of the Fighting Dems that the DLC and Blue Doggers have been trying to retroactively claim as their own, but a quick read of BSP posts — such as this one showing his firm stance in favor of withdrawal — gives the lie to their claims.  BSP recently broke the news that prominent and powerful state Senator Dick Day is planning on challenging Walz in 2008, thus getting the jump on all the traditional media.

As Kid Oakland, another Minnesota blogger, noted last year, local blogs are big everywhere.  So why don't you tell me about your favorite local blogs that also do journalism?  Wouldn't it be great if they could work with each other — y'know, have their own version of the AP Wire and all that?