Thursday, May 08, 2008

Orting News in the Seattle Times

Jerry Large:

The Orting News had attracted more than 14,000 subscribers by its third week. Subscribers get an e-mail of its headlines, which reminds them to look at the site and the ads it carries. Subscribers don't pay, but advertisers do.

The biggest story so far was an attempted abduction. Two strangers offered a fourth-grader candy to get into their car, but she didn't do it.

Without the News, Carr says, the local school would have had no way to get word to the community quickly.


The problem with Large's analysis of the Orting News is that it "isn't journalism" and that a similar model, built on trust between neighbors, wouldn't work in a big city setting.

Isn't journalism? Apparently, only a group of poorly paid professionals can do journalism. If citizens try to ask the same questions that journalists would ask, they aren't journalists, but journalers. Large should worry less about professionalism and more about being earnest. Unpros can do journalism, its just harder to conceive that they would.

Also, a set-up like the Orting News would very much work in a big city setting, it would need to be boiled down to a neighborhood level. And, the email back type accountability at the Orting News would actually help build the small town type connections that the Orting News is thriving on.

1 comment:

Rich Carr said...

Great feedback and insight Emmett. We'd like to offer one of your bloggers the opportunity to run their own paper using our software. Let me know if you have any takers as the model has become so successful we're offering it up to entreprenuers and 'journalists' in small towns everywhere. The software will be serviced from www.itsthepaperboy.com