I’ve got to put Jesus, a gay dinosaur and puppy into a lead about newspapers to hold their attention.
David Brauer tallied up where Minnesota media stand on the ballot initiatives. With few exceptions, it’s a resounding ‘No.’
The news that matters most to people is the news that affects them the most directly. That of course, is the local news. Local coverage is the key, and that takes people, lots of them, and money, lots of it. We skimp on that kind of coverage at our peril — and to the community’s detriment.
A camera is a loaded thing. You need to know that you’re in control of the bullets so you make sure you’re not hit by one.
In other court news, a settlement has been reached over arrest of Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! producers at the 2008 GOP convention.
Saw an Authentically Local button on a site, clicked around, and noticed that the Twin Cities Daily Planet is a founding member of this branding campaign. You can probably guess the gist of it, but do read their philosophy. I recognize a lot of those founders as people who have been working hard in indie cityblogging for a long time (and making money doing it!).
So: I dig this campaign. It is important to recognize the distinction between corporately local and actually local. By all means, you should read your community newspaper before you go to Patch. You should read the Daily Planet and the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press first. But then, if you are clicking around on the internet looking for things to read, news on Patch* is totally better for your brain than celebrity gossip, even local celebrity gossip.
A few comments on this site, though:
- Here are the first two sentences on the site right now: “Today they are standing on every corner in one town outside New York City. They are blonde, female and clearly under 25.” That’s sexist. I don’t actually know about this phenomenon of streetcorner hotties distributing local news, and if Patch is marketing itself the same way they market liquor, whatever, but if it’s getting young adults to read local news instead of reading about how great it is to get wasted, then that is a good thing. Who the fuck cares if they are blonde? I’m blonde and under 30; does that mean I shouldn’t be working in news marketing? There are plenty of other things to attack about Patch than that.
- I am not super pro-Patch, although I’m not against it because it is a way for writers—especially young writers—to make some ok money. As long as Patch is still paying writers (which they are decently, I think, in most cases), I am still ok with Patch existing. I don’t link to them, and I don’t think they’re doing anything profound, but as long as people are getting paid to write about their neighborhoods, it’s all good. Also, at least locally, Patch is able to cover some local content with a little more depth than indies like the Runoff or the Daily Planet, particularly in the suburbs. More information is good. I don’t think they are taking away from other news sites’ eyeballs.
- Why isn’t there a signup for my Authentically Local site to join this network? I don’t particularly want to put a button up on the Runoff unacknowledged (although I probably will) unless I am connected to the other sites in the network. Or is this going to be an exclusive network for established sites? (Corollary: Where’s MinnPost on this thing?)
Anyway, generally a good idea, or a good start of one, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
*As long as “news on Patch” isn’t bar pictures and police blotter. But I’ve seen some good news on Patch sometimes.
To answer Deb’s question, we’re looking into it and are interested to see how this develops. It seems like the other publications involved may have more of a hyper-local focus than we do — our coverage tends to be focused on public policy, government and broader Minnesota issues.
That said, we love the idea of a network for independent, local journalism. Is this actually that sort of network or is it simply a branding campaign? We’ll keep our eyes on it.
Kling throws a sharp elbow our way
In a Q-and-A, City Page’s Andy Mannix asked Bill Kling why his “$25 million per station” plan wasn’t yet funded:
CP: And if I’m remembering correctly, you wanted to have $5 million per city raised before you left?
BK: Oh, not before I left.
CP: Ok, I think that was in a MinnPost column.
BK: Consider the source. …
We’re thinking “Consider the source” might be our new tagline.
Mike: Do you think that ProPublica is partly responsible for the growth of non profit journalism with things like MinnPost and Texas Tribune?
Dick: Some of those things, MinnPost, for instance, was here before ProPublica.
Interesting conversation, and of course we were happy to see the MinnPost mention.
MinnPost is hiring!
We are hiring for two positions:
• A full-time assistant web editor
• A part-time or contract programmer — Drupal experience preferred.
We’re looking for innovative, awesome people to join our team and help us move MinnPost forward in the next year(s).
Know anybody who might be interested? Please share!
UFOs! All over Minnesota!
In addition to a fascinating UFO map, Jeff asks a serious question about how we — as journalists and news organizations — can highlight the conversation and feedback that’s generated in response to our reporting.
It’s a question many of us are asking. How do we break down the great wall that divides reporter from commenter? What does truly interactive news look like?