Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Experiment in citizen journalism

MarketWatch reported Morris Communications Corp. has begun publishing Bluffton Today, a tabloid newspaper tightly coordinated with a Web site, BlufftonToday.com. The hyperlocal publication will be distributed free in the namesake South Carolina community of about 15,000 people. Every reader will be invited to log onto the Web site and comment about stories, as well as start their own blog, upload pictures and even contribute recipes.

"Newspapers have gone on the Web by putting yesterday's news online," said Steve Yelvington, manager, Web site development for Morris. "That's a one-way street. We are doing the opposite; Participation is right at the center of what we're doing."

He added: "BlufftonToday.com is a grand experiment in citizen journalism, a complete inversion of the typical 'online newspaper' model."

Readers' comments about stories will be edited and printed in the hard copy of the paper.

Success will be easy to judge, according to Yelvington. "People will be participating. The reality is people are doing this already, publishing their own Web sites and Web logs. The choice is not whether it will happen but whether we are going to participate in it."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very interesting post. Ironically, I am currently creating a business plan for one of my classes on a very similar concept.

Thanks for posting this. I will be sure to follow the Blufftontoday.com and its progress.