It’s the "latest local news, as well as details of anything and everything that’s
happening in your area. This is your community website, and the content will be driven by you." That’s the description from one of the new sites on Gazette Live, an initiative by a British paper to set up very local news and information sites with content provided by residents. Click here for an overview from The Gazette. Michael Hill is the editor-producer in charge of the project. Here’s a report from journalism.co.uk:
"He said 20 volunteers have already agreed to contribute to the sites, which are grouped around postcode areas in Middlesborough.
Hill added that 18 more micro-sites in the town would be launched by
July and, if successful, the idea could be rolled out across the group.
told Journalism.co.uk: "We’ve set up a content team at the newspaper of
people from different disciplines. Someone from the library, a
reporter, a former photographer and an employee with IT skills are
overseeing what will eventually become 23 sites."
One of the best, pithy discussions (from Techdirt) makes the point that the CDA encourages user-generated content by limiting host liability. Excerpt: "Section
230, which generally says that site providers aren’t liable for
content on their sites which they didn’t post. Typically, this refers to
things like comments and forums. For instance, if a commenter here made a
libelous or otherwise defamatory statement, they’re liable for it, not Techdirt.
This has been held up several
times in various courts, because it makes sense to target the actual source
of the defamation, not the platform provider."
What if your readers worked together to produce a narrative and a set of stats on every game of one of your pro teams? college teams? high school teams? Could they do it? They have the expertise and passion. Would they do it? It depends on how easy you make it. Look at what the Mavericks are doing. The whole season is here. A blog has posted an article about it here. If a team can do it, can’t a news organization do it?
Hyper-local news and discussion boards have a new template, the Front Porch Forum. It started in Vermont, but has a model that can be used anywhere. This will give news organizations a method to fear, copy, or adopt. Ignoring this is not an option.