Citzen's media on the local level

Quoting from Washington Post Examines Citzen’s Media

Big day for citizen journalism. Peg notes that Leslie Walker writes in today’s Washington Post that several notable ventures have launched or raised money this year to create local news sites online in which readers contribute all or most of the news. Profiled…






2 responses to “Citzen's media on the local level”

  1. The One True b!X Avatar

    I’m still curious if this latest push for such sites will result only in the owners making money off the writing/labor of others who themselves don’t get anything.

  2. cgrotke Avatar

    Hi, we’re the iBrattleboro folks. We started the site in Feb 2003 with the goal of creating a community alternative news site written by the people who read it. The focus was to have a place where anyone had access and could get their news out without the need to rely on the town paper (owned by a company in Denver). We do allow people to buy small ads on the site if they are a locally-owned business, but to date this hasn’t even covered the costs of the server, let alone the time we put in everyday of the year to keep it going.
    It sounds backward in today’s profit-driven world, but we figure that by providing a good service we’ll attract more readers and contributors, and over time build a reputation that is respected in the community. After maybe 5 or 10 years, we may then see some ad revenues that might begin to cover our costs.
    For us, it isn’t about the money, it is about the community. We live here and have a stake in the way the town evolves (unlike the owner of the paper, taking profits out of the community to who knows where?)
    Reading about the others who plan to try to “franchise” this and make quick profits in many small communities… I think they are setting themselves up to fail. The reason this works is because we live here.
    Really. It can’t be done from afar, and ad revenue can’t occur unless there is a substantial readership (which, by this model, implies a large base of writers in a community). All of this takes time, dedication, and daily interaction with the community.
    Those who use the site, I think, get something out of it. They come for news, information, and discussion, and to see what their neighbors are thinking. Our own plan, if we do make any money someday, is to cover our costs, then use any profits from that to help our community even more by giving the money back to good causes and projects. I’d love to someday be able to buy the community radio station new equipment, or host a street party with bands, or give to local organizations when they are looking for assistance.
    But hey, we’re weirdos who think people are more important than money… : )