Community Journalism in the 21st Century
IUpload provides a number of powerful content management systems to its clients; the CMS systems are focused on blogging platforms. Backbone Media, Inc. is considering partnering with IUpload to provide their CMS systems to our clients.
The IUpload systems give publishers the ability to create a location for their newspapers to allow community members to post articles. Many local community newspapers have faced stiff commercial competition from national companies like craigslist.org and Yahoo! Local by providing a lot of free classified advertising, the local newspapers would normally sell. To counter the local advertising content, local newspapers are fighting back with blogs, but many of their bloggers don’t even know they are using a blog.
The Northwest Voice a local community free newspaper based in Northwest Bakersfield California is one such newspaper. The editor of the newspaper has encouraged community members to contribute articles on local news. Each new piece of content is reviewed and either approved or not, and if approved published on the newspaper’s website.
When a member of the community becomes a community journalist they sign up on the Voice website, they are setting up a blog account. When community journalists provide content that is approved by the editor, the editor categorizes the content, either by putting the article within an existing category or by creating a new category for the content.
The newspaper is generating a lot of ‘hyper-local’ content not available to national websites. The community journalists give the newspaper the opportunity to cover in more depth the community of Northwest Bakersfield, all by using unpaid community journalists. The community journalists’ benefit from the standing in the community they gain from writing a local column. The editor then uses her professional journalists to cover subjects written about by community journalists. The editor now spends more time in reaching out to the community encouraging more people to start writing for the newspaper.
Interestingly, as a community journalist progresses in credibility with the paper, the editor may decide to include an article in the print edition of the paper, and overall the community journalists are generating more content than the professional journalists.
Another publication, the BlountCountyVoice uses iUpload’s system and their version let’s every customer have the ability to create a calendar and they can publish forthcoming events for their organization. Local sporting events, mountain bike clubs are all the types of events and organizations that get content into the newspaper on a regular basis.
Posted by johncass at August 4, 2005 11:39 AM
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