A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

You, the journalist

Further to my April 4 post about Bluffton Today, there are two other new and similar citizen journalism sites worth looking at.

YourHub.com is a Rocky Mountain News venture where anyone is invited to share stories/photos and opinions, add events, sell something. It is about to launch and is planned for 37 neighborhoods in the Denver area.

Blount County Voice is a community site in Maryville, Tennessee.

These sites and the others like them demonstrate a movement toward the local and acknowledge the place of the reader in creating content. While in its infancy and yet to evolve into what accountants might consider an economically sustainable model, consumer and participant interest suggests that they are heading in the right direction.

Local newspapers face the more immediate risk from the citizen journalism movement. Rich in advertising, these papers are lucky to carry one or two genuinely local stories. Consumers creating content will provide more interesting and more immediate local content and see more local papers thrown in the bin.

With Australia’s 4,600 retail and distribution newsagents reliant on newspaper and magazine sales for more than 50% of customer visits each day, we need to urgently find a way to meaningfully participate in citizen journalism. Publishers embracing the model will do so outside our bricks and mortar channel. Our response has be between us and consumers.

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