Cathy Resmer writes today on 802 Online about one hopeful prediction for a resurgence of local news and community newspapers in 2007. She quotes a Seattle Times writer:
The story of the death of the Valley Daily News is that it blew it when it combined with its partner, the Bellevue Journal-American, into one amorphous, suburban blob.
Small is beautiful, eh? She shares the Times guy’s opinion about the value of local news, but wonders about the medium:
I do, however, see more and more people signing up for the Front Porch Forum service. I just recommended it to someone today. It’s not a newspaper, but it’s a great way to share local information. For example, yesterday my forum included an item from the Winooski City Engineer, explaining the water leak that’s developed on my street. I don’t know how else the city would have communicated that to me, other than sending out an email. The Free Press wouldn’t have covered it in the same way.
Of course, FPF in no way replaces good investigative journalism, but at least it helps neighbors communicate. I don’t know why the city hasn’t come up with a service like this on its own. It seems like a no-brainer.
Indeed, we’re seeing more local officials using Front Porch Forum to share news with their citizens, like the good souls in Winooski. And rarely do our postings resemble citizen journalism. Front Porch Forum helps neighbors connect and foster community within neighborhoods.