In the news business, Atlanta has long been a one-horse town. The horse is Cox Enterprises, based here, which owns the daily newspaper, the top-rated TV station--WSB--and the top-rated news-talk radio station--also WSB.
Why should it be any different on the Web? Access Atlanta combines the efforts of all those outlets. The company's interactive group also offers a sports site, an arts site, a joint-venture adult-oriented site and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution site.
You won't find much on any of the Cox sites you wouldn't find in the newspaper, on radio or TV. Still, Cox's army of reporters has kept most Web rivals at bay. CitySearch isn't here, nor is Sidewalk. There is a Digital City site on America Online, which keeps a small presence on AOL.com.
Atlanta also has a presence on Yahoo! (atlanta.yahoo.com), which gets its local news from Jacor Communications' WGST, a talk radio station, and the Southern Voice, a monthly publication aimed at the gay community. As a result, some of Atlanta Yahoo!'s "news" is weeks old.
Atlanta is also a town of earnest amateurs, such as Jodi Drysdale, a local free-lancer who provides links to Atlanta-related sites on a site hosted by Mindspring, based here.
It's complete, attractive and nicely organized.
CNN is here, but it has a global presence, not an Atlanta one. Still there are other publishers living in the nooks and crannies of Cox's world.
Creative Loafing is the biggest. It began as an alternative newspaper in the early '70s and evolved into a free entertainment weekly. Now it's a chain, and its Web network has affiliates as far away as Pittsburgh. What you won't find, however, is much Web-only content.
The same is true at the site for Atlanta Magazine, but don't let that discourage you. Christine Lauterbach is the city's best restaurant reviewer and the writing is the best outside of the Cox empire.
For those in business, American City Business Journals' Atlanta Business Chronicle is the flagship.
Since the 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta has become even more of a magnet for young people with no fear and lots of energy. You'll find content aimed at them at Degenerate Press, which also does print and e-mail newsletters. It's fun, edgy and deliberately outside the mainstream.
Mr. Blankenhorn is a free-lance writer based in Atlanta.
Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.