I have no reason to think Albuquerque will become a no-newspaper town, but the set of questions confronting civic life in Seattle as the P-I goes down and the Times teeters are nevertheless worth thinking about in our own context.
In that regard, I’ve been following the discussions my old college chum Chuck Taylor and others have been having about what happens next in Seattle (a city I’ve always loved). Chuck, an alum of the Times and other Seattle media, yesterday began sketching out a framework for how one might organize post-newspaper journalism is his town (or how it might self-organize).
Setting aside that thorny revenue stream question, Chuck sketches out five full-time beats, and then probes what might need to go on beyond that:
So that’s five full-time reporters, and they will be stretched pretty thin. What about all the other stuff going on?
Time to tap and organize the neighborhood bloggers, a number of whom are already dominant voices in their own right.
He goes on to talk about the neighborhoods and issues already well covered in Seattle by citizen journalists, and the gaps in the system there. It raises an interesting question here in Albuquerque. What are the blogs that are most integral to our civic dialogue, that do the sort of work that could be integrated in a post-newspaper structure that would, in the absence of the work of paid journalists, give people a foundation for understanding what’s going on in their community?
I’m especially interested in those blogs that do original content, rather than (or in addition to) linking to and expanding on MSM work. This is the sort of citizen journalism that is a gap-filler for what the MSM misses, either because there simply are far too many topics for the big media to reach, or because there are far too many ways of viewing any given topic for the mainstream media to provide a comprehensive discussion.
I have my own ideas, but rather than turning this into a discussion of the pros and cons of my list, I’d like readers’ input. What is the Albuquerque citizen journalism on which you rely? I’d especially like your thoughts on how the content of those blogs would change if they were the primary information source rather than an extension of a discussion that includes funded mainstream media.