Small News Reporters

reporters Riffing off “Are You a Reporter?” by Christopher S. Penn, and a little bit from All Tomorrow’s Armies, I’m thinking about “we are reporting smaller news.” What would that look like?

The answer is ridiculously simple. You know who’s training tomorrow’s reporters? Steve Garfield is on his Off on a Tangent blog. Look how Steve reports things. It’s simple, brief, to the point, and loaded with appropriate links. If you ever wanted to learn good link journalism, learn from Steve. (He’s also teaching journalism now at Boston University, because they know he’s brilliant.)

But YOU, without much training, can report small news. Maybe it’s not meant for your very specific blog, but a side blog, a side project, with a few other reporters. I think realtors are actually figuring this out from a slightly different perspective.

It’s not too tricky. We have the cameraphones. We have the Flips. We have the distribution. This is as simple as putting up a blog, adding media to it, and reporting on small news that matters to you. And you, in this case, is whatever vertical matters to you: .NET reporters in Glasgow, people who live in Park Slope, the folks of OMG Pittsburgh.

This is as important as Brian’s Alive in Baghdad, only different. It’s a way to bring small to the people in a meaningful way.

If I had time, I would do this in 2009, but I don’t. But YOU might. You might be exactly the person to set up a site to show people how to report small news. You might show them how to embed videos, how to ask enough questions to make a story at least a little more balanced than a typical blog post. You might invite professional journalists in to share their experiences, and to weigh in on how to make small news reporting better. You might link to the sites who are doing small news out there, so that we build a small news network.

This is a pirate ship waiting for a captain. Are you the leader of the small news movement? Report back to us, would you?

Photo credit, Ninjapoodles

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