Public Journalism Network
If you have time, I recommend a stop over at the Public Journalism Network, PJNet as it calls itself. Run out of Kennesaw State University, it provides some different perspectives and insights on participatory journalism. Especially worth noting is the stuff on Northfield.org, a very cool community-based Web log out of Northfield, Minn. Showing that such ventures do not just have to be publicity generators or rant-and-rave sites, this one did a good job keeping the area up to date on recent flooding. Griff Wrigley explains how he did it. And here's a link that will take you directly to one of the flood entries so that you can dig in.
As Wrigley explains,
I think our experiment 'worked' in part because it provided coverage of a breaking news story in a way that other media in town couldn't or didn't. The local newspaper, the Northfield News, is published twice per week on Wed. and Sat. Their website only contains the content from the print edition and you have to be a print subscriber to get at it. The local radio station, KYMN, did provide regular news updates on the rising water but they don't have a website for photo or video or audio clips. The local public access cable service, NTV 26, doesn't do breaking news stories.
I just think this is really cool and shows the potential of unleashing local journalism. Now, if the local paper and radio station would pay attention, they might be on to something here.