RepJ reporter launches blog to document developments in her work


The Representative Journalism Project has a core goal of revealing the journalistic process as it happens, from beginning to end, and beyond. By creating “Bonnie Obremski, RepJ,” I am striving to meet that goal in a better way than I have been. will be a place for me to publish my finished work. (continued)

Meanwhile, readers who are interested in the day-to-day process should visit my blog-within-a-blog. I welcome the general public to visit the site and comment on my latest story idea!


  1. John S. Thomas said:

    Nice job Bonnie. I really think this is a good way to go about it.

    January 20, 2009
  2. Anne Bretts said:

    An elegant, practical, and helpful solution to a difficult problem. Now people can choose as much detail as they want, without frustrating those who know the process and just want to read the finished story.
    And kudos on the layout, whether original or a template. It’s a nice, light, fresh choice with a fun version of your photo.
    Nicely done.

    January 20, 2009
  3. Wow, I’ll try to live up to this praise!

    January 21, 2009
  4. Jerry Bilek said:

    nice job Bonnie, did you get that Wigley fellow to help you at all?

    January 21, 2009
  5. Thanks! Wiggles has helped me since I first got to Northfield and what he has taught me gave me the skills I needed to start the blog on my own. It’s purty darn simple though. Choose a template, fill out some blanks and go. Plus, there’s no way I would get many eyeballs to the blog if Griff didn’t let me tell people about it here on LoGroNo.

    January 21, 2009
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    Wiggles? That’s Mr. Wiggles to you, young lady!

    I’d like to point out that an increasing number of MSM reporters have blogs in which they do a little post-mortem on a story AFTER its been published and also engage with the readership a bit, too.

    But I don’t know of any reporters who are engaged with the readers WHILE a story is being worked on.

    January 21, 2009
  7. Sorry Griff! But c’mon, everyone needs a hip hop name.

    January 22, 2009
  8. Oh, and while we’re talking about process, I’m writing a story right now where I’m trying to get the heads of business-related organizations like the Chamber, NDDC and the city government’s EDA to give a kind of status report while asking business owners to say if they’re taking advantage of the resources those groups offer, why or why not, and what those owners would like to see changed or added, if anything. Check out what I have so far on my blog and help me out if you can folks! Thanks!

    January 22, 2009
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    Bonnie, here’s a couple of blog posts related to ‘the artifact’ of a RepJ article that we’ve been talking about.

    Jeff Jarvis: The building block of journalism is no longer the article

    I want a page, a site, a thing that is created, curated, edited, and discussed. It’s a blog that treats a topic as an ongoing and cumulative process of learning, digging, correcting, asking, answering. It’s also a wiki that keeps a snapshot of the latest knowledge and background. It’s an aggregator that provides annotated links to experts, coverage, opinion, perspective, source material. It’s a discussion that doesn’t just blather but that tries to accomplish something (an extension of an article like this one that asks what options there are to bailout a bailout). It’s collaborative and distributed and open but organized.

    Think of it as being inside a beat reporter’s head, while also sitting at a table with all the experts who inform that reporter, as everyone there can hear and answer questions asked from the rest of the room — and in front of them all are links to more and ever-better information and understanding.

    This is the way to cover stories and life.

    Martin Langeveld: Why not Wikify?

    … why not allow readers to edit the wiki as well, with the reporter who “owns” the issue keeping an eye on it to prevent abuse? It works at Wikipedia itself, why would it not work at a local newspaper wiki?

    Once established, readers could add new topics, including pages on the history and amenities of the area, on elected and appointed local officials and legislators, on businesses and non-profit organizations, on schools and churches, on clubs, bands, rivers, mountains, parks and what-have-you. Every new news story might come with a series of wiki references to allow readers to explore the backgrounds of not only the issues but also the personalities, buildings and organizations involved.

    January 22, 2009
  10. I’m game, let’s develop the infrastructure and begin using the content that exists and the content I’m working on providing and citizen input to begin building.

    All the RepJ information so far could be categorized. For example, and “economy” link leads to “business stories” leads to “taking the pulse of our business network” (which is what I’m working on now). At the final destination, there is a page that has all the goodies we want, including an ongoing wiki.

    What d’ya think?

    January 22, 2009

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