Friday, November 26, 2010

Notes and links for "Olympia Journalism Club"

Over at Olyblog, a question from Chad Akins seemed to have reignited the hyperlocal journalism fire with some of us. At least to the point of some folks getting together next Sunday afternoon.

I've been pondering the creation of something like this proto-group for a few months now, thinking about the examples from Clay Shirky's "Cognitive Surplus," about how local groups (Dogtown for example) can help sharpen skills and projects.

Not sure I can make the actual meeting yet, but I at least wanted to put together some thoughts and notes:

  • Thad Curtz has always talked about putting together a wiki on local issues. This core group would seem like a natural starting point for a project like that. It would take a long while to get going, but I think we'd eventually fill it out and keep it updated.
  • The Leeds Community News hub seems like an interesting project to emulated. Interesting, though, they seem to have some institutional support from the Guardian. 
  • Lakewood United and North Mason County Voice are groups that bring speakers in to talk about local issues. Seems like an interesting model to emulate, if we could do it. Especially if we made it a podcast as well.
  • Here's my old list of "beats" that I posted on Olyblog almost three years ago (three years to the day this group will be meeting). Still pretty relevant, should be adding things to the list.
  • Here's a small side project I've been working on, the Briggs Villager, a neighborhood based project for where I live now. Haven't really launched it yet, but I'm getting there and just thought I'd share the link.

Skills, skills, skills. The more I think about it, the more I think that this group should be about sharing tips and tricks for people who want to do this sort of thing, but don't have the chops. Little trainings on how to record and set up a podcast, how to find the information you're looking for, how to conduct an interview or write a decent post.

So, in my mind, the group would have two purposes: teach skills and provide a place for collaboration and sharing.


Unknown said...

How might a proposal to steer the club in the direction of creating and publishing an actual Olympia news outlet (e.g. website) be received?

Emmett said...

I think the purpose is to get as many people doing journalism as possible. In terms of creating one other outlet, maybe that might be useful.

But, if they 10 different people end up doing 10 different collaborative projects, that's good too.

There already is Olyblog, Oly Power and Light is online now, and Everyday Olympia takes contributions as well. One more I don't think will do us much good. Rather,I think we should aim for more people contributing to what already exists and creating what they see we need.