Friday, July 23, 2004

Opening something in news

Open source community news

Very cool. Here's the paper itself, the Northwest Voice.

Is it a surprise that the staff is made up of women?

Jonathan Dube is right to say this sort of thing is more likely to begin in a small community. There is a difference between local news and larger scales.

But can we not envision a day when, if the large metro papers survive, the Times or Miami Herald would consist of hundreds of community sections, created by people living in the various neighborhoods?

In a sense it's like blogs, except instead of individuals, it would be loosely joined communities talking among themselves. What an extraordinary dimension this would add to any organization that pretends to "cover" a community -- I'll bet it would also boost classifieds and readership as different neighborhoods read each other to see what they were selling, and what they had to say about last night's little league game.

Plus, down the road, one could look back, and find, in each community's offering, the distinct voice found there and nowhere else, through each moment in time.

The question is, why did it take some 10 years from the time newspapers first began publishing on the Web for something like this to occur? (I suspect it's because while the technology of the Net caught on pretty quickly, it has taken US this long to discover new forms of being open about source and property and relationships that were always there, in potentia. Only now are they evolving along with certain cultural values. For one thing, corporations are inherently nonlocal. And because they (corporations) are naked and sexless. And they sing like this (thanks Suw).)


Blogger Phil said...

Fascinating concept. Great post. I wonder how they handle legal liability? Have the editor's fact check and screen?

7/23/2004 12:33 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Phil, I think we're talking about a scale so intimate that a lot of the liability concerns present to larger communities are diminished. Everyone knows everyone, or almost. High context communities, if I remember the jargon aright. Here's their page on editorial:

7/23/2004 3:37 PM  

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