Down East 2013 ©
Campaign? What campaign? Want to find out what really went on at the Jan. 20 gubernatorial debate in South Portland? You might try reading the anemic article  that appeared in the Portland Press Herald.
You could check out the clueless coverage  from WCSH-TV.
Fortunately, there’s another option. Video of the entire debate  has been posted online by the Associated General Contractors of Maine, the event’s sponsor.
A few of those who’ve watched it have discovered that some of the candidates said surprising things, such as Republican Bruce Poliquin’s support of increased gun control. The Web site Pine Tree Politics  noticed.
But the state’s daily papers and TV stations didn’t seem to find that information newsworthy. Or maybe they just don’t know about it.
When Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Steve Rowe announced his support for increasing the tax on tobacco, it got a brief blog mention  from the Kennebec Journal’s Susan Cover, but didn’t merit any ink.
That left it to the Augusta Insider Web site  to explore the implications of Rowe’s decision to break with Democratic Gov. John Baldacci over the issue of tax hikes.
It took nearly a week for the Bangor Daily News to make brief mention  of an anonymous video attacking GOP gubernatorial hopeful Les Otten that had been circulating online.
From Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s new Capitol Connection blog  to my DownEast.com colleague Mike Tipping ’s postings to the discussions on sites as diverse as As Maine Goes  and Dirigo Blue , there’s currently more and better political reporting on the Web than anywhere else.
The standard response from print journalists when asked about the danger of being scooped by online news sources is that those sites simply recycle what’s already been in the newspapers. That argument may still carry some weight when it comes to coverage of other subjects. But if Maine’s daily papers ceased to exist tomorrow, it would make little difference in public awareness of the candidates and issues in the race for governor. That territory now belongs to the Web.
Radio ratings update: Those wishing a more complete view of the Portland Arbitron ratings for radio than I was able to provide late last week can click here . Note that this listing doesn’t include non-commercial stations, but thanks to information provided by Lou Morin at the Maine Public Broadcasting Network , I can report that MPBN’s WMEA (90.1 FM) pulled a 9.8 share in the metro area (Cumberland County), placing it in a virtual tie for first place with WGAN  (560 AM). WMEA also dominated the ratings in the total survey area, which includes southern and coastal Maine and parts of New Hampshire.
Arbitron numbers are also out for the Augusta-Waterville market , where WABK (104.3 FM), WTOS  (105.1 FM), WMME  (92 FM), and WEBB  (98.5 FM) continue to dominate, although talk station WVQM (101.3 FM), which simulcasts Bangor-based WVOM  (103.9 FM), made an impressive debut and might threaten the established order in the near future.
Better late than never: If you’re looking for breaking news, the pages of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram probably aren’t the place to find it. But the news does creep into the Portland papers eventually.
On Jan. 30, the Press Herald ran a front-page story detailing Biddeford Mayor Joanne Twomey’s decision to pull out of an agreement  to alter the way the Maine Energy Recovery incinerator operates.
According to the article, Twomey announced her change of heart at a public meeting on Jan. 25. The Journal Tribune, Biddeford’s afternoon paper, got wind of that news in time for its Jan. 28 edition .
But it still took the Press Herald two more days to catch on.
That was fast compared to the paper’s reporting on the reason Kurt Adams left the Maine Public Utilities Commission . Adams submitted his resignation in 2008.
The unreported reason: Adams had conflicts of interest involving Central Maine Power’s request to upgrade its transmission lines. It took until Jan. 31 of this year for the Sunday Telegram to convey that information .
Cover charge: Kennebec Journal reporter Susan Cover almost did a good job in her Jan. 31 story on the future of the state Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability .
With legislators debating the value of the watchdog agency, it would have been nice to know how much money it’s saved taxpayers in its nearly six years of existence. That figure is nowhere to be found in the piece. Nor is it in an accompanying chart that details some of the office’s fiscal findings. (The version of the piece  that ran in the Sunday Telegram omitted the chart, making it even more difficult for readers to assess the program’s worth.)
Difficult to figure how such a seemingly essential number could have been left out.
Al Diamon can be e-mailed at email@example.com