Since its inception in the 1990s, Northfield.org has evolved into more of an electronic community bulletin board than an outlet for the reporting of local news. A few years ago, Griff Wigley, one of the founders of Northfield.org, spun off to create his own group blog, LocallyGrown, which—along with its companion radio show and podcast—does feature hard news and commentary about local issues. Earlier this year, LocallyGrown teamed up with reporter Bonnie Obremski to provide local Representative Journalism.
But LocallyGrown doesn’t solicit content from its readers. In that sense, LoGroNo isn’t true citizen journalism that involves local citizens in the collection and dissemination of news and information. It’s a civic-minded group blog with a thriving comments section that invites both controversy and connectedness.
What would true citizen journalism in Northfield look like?
I’m glad Rob launched the discussion. I’ve been wanting to discuss the state of citizen journalism in Northfield for a while, and especially the role of Northfield.org.
I’ll start with these issues:
- I don’t understand why Rob posted his comments on this issue to his personal blog and not on the main blog at Northfield.org. It seems to me that the main N.org blog could be used for so much more.
- Why is there so little information forthcoming from the NCO Board about the organization’s activities, plans, goals, results, etc.? There are seldom any announcements about upcoming Board meetings, and seldom any information/minutes about what was discussed/decided at Board meetings. I’d really like to see more transparency from the NCO board.
- I disagree with Rob’s statement that “LoGroNo isn’t true citizen journalism.” It might be just semantics but I think LoGroNo is citizen journalism, just like Rob’s blog is citizen journalism, and all the other blogs that make up Northfield’s Civic Blogosphere are citizen journalism. I think it’s more accurate to say that LoGroNo is NOT a community blog, since only 3 of us can blog there.
I think Northfield.org plays a valuable community role right now in two areas: 1) citizen submissions about upcoming community events, and 2) the RSS feed aggregator. I think they could be/do much more so I hope a discussion here and/or on Rob’s blog post can help make it happen.