Locally Grown has been chosen to test an innovative project called Representative Journalism (RepJ), “a system to help communities, individuals and groups underwrite their own journalists.” See the Representative Journalism site for details, as well as the Feb. 2008 RepJ press release (PDF).
Bonnie Obremski is the RepJ reporter/journalist currently assigned to Northfield. See her bio for more. Contact Bonnie at 774-272-0730 or RepJNorthfield@gmail.com
She has her own RepJ blog where she updates readers on the progress of the stories she’s working on. She publishes her RepJ articles/stories/blog posts to the Locally Grown blog.
Bonnie’s RepJ stories have a different visual style to help distinguish them from the blog posts by the LG Triumvirate of Ross, Tracy and Griff. There is an editorial boundary between RepJ and Locally Grown. The LG bloggers do not choose, preview, or edit the RepJ stories. Bonnie is supervised by Professor Leonard Witt and her articles are edited by Linda Seebach.
RepJ is led by Communication Chair and Associate Professor Leonard Witt (left photo) at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Collaborators include Chris Peck (center in right photo), editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, TN. and Bill Densmore (left in right photo), Director of the Media Giraffe project at the Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Locally Grown did a podcast on the project in March, 2008, when the Representative Journalism (RepJ) team visited Northfield.
Funding for the project is provided by the Harnisch Family Foundation, led by Ruth Ann Harnisch, President.
The RepJ Advisory Board includes:
- Bill Buzenberg, Executive Director, Center for Public Integrity
- David Cohn, Editor at Off the Bus, BeatBloggers, NewAssignment.net
- Oscar Corral, Reporter, Miami Herald
- Ken Doctor, Digital Media Consultant, Content Bridges
- David Eckoff, Media Consultant, formerly Turner Broadcasting VP
- Amy Gahan, Content Strategist, Poytner & J-Lab
- Mark Glaser, Host & Editor, MediaShift
- Joel Kramer, Publisher, MinnPost.com, former editor/publisher Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Dori J. Maynard, President and CEO, Maynard Institute
- Ken Sands, Innovation Editor, Congressional Quarterly
- Jan Schaffer, Executive Director, J-Lab
- Venise Wagner, Chair and Associate Professor, San Francisco State University Journalism Department
- Lisa Williams, Founder, Placebloggers
Since RepJ is a pilot project, there is an ongoing evaluation component.
U of MN professor Shayla Thiel Stern will be conducting a variety of polls and surveys to assess the project’s impact.