Putting community journalism to work
Community journalism is alive and well at the Daily Times.
Last night I held another session with the members of our community journalism lab.
We munched on pizza and talked about the newspaper, journalism and the process we go through every day to create our Web site and print edition.
It’s a conversation with our readers and public that is long overdue.
Yesterday we featured a blog from Jennifer Hoff, a member of the William Penn School Board, focusing on some of the ugly aftermath from a shooting that took the life of a Penn Wood High student.
Ironically, when she first posted the blog, she e-mailed me to alert me.
I got the feeling she was a little leery about the content in her blog.
I actually loved it. And I let her and our other community bloggers know that last night. Look, we’re not always going to agree. I actually warned Hoff that we were running a story in today’s paper about a search at the high school in the aftermath of the shooting that turned up some weapons and resulted in charges against three students.
She already knew about it.
We considered leading the paper with it this morning, changing plans last night when events at a vigil for murder victim Mohamed Kamara took precedence.
That’s one of the things about this business. They don’t call it news for nothing. Some days we make a plan first thing in the morning and stick with it all day. Other days the plan doesn’t last 15 minutes before it’s turned upside down. And even our best-mapped-out efforts sometimes get tossed out the window when breaking news dictates a new plan.
That’s what happened last night.
After my meeting with our community journalists.
I’m excited about what we’re doing. I like the idea of featuring more voices in the paper. We are running Hoff’s blog item in the paper.
That’s something else we’re doing more and more of – sharing content across the several platforms in which we deliver news to our consumes.
I don’t expect our bloggers to always agree with us. And I suppose there will be times when I don’t agree with them. That is part of the process.
And it’s one I’d like you to take part in. If you think you’d like to join our community journalism lab, give me a call at 610-622-8818. Or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can promise you only one thing: A sense of fulfillment that you are taking part in the vital notion of informing your community.
I’ve been doing it now for the last 30 years. But I’m finding myself up to my ears in new tricks.
Why not get on board? It’s a wild ride.