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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Greensboro News & Record, Other Citizens Journalism Projects Plugged in Today's NY Times

The Greensboro News & Record, BluftonToday.com in South Carolina and The Rocky Mountain News' Yourub.com are among the citizen's journalism projects featured in a solid piece by The New York Times' Katharine Q. Seelye.

Among those prominently quoted are Lew Alexander, the editorial brains behind the News & Record's efforts and blogger Ed Cone who also writes a column for the North Carolina newspaper.

The News & Record's move to incorporate readers in the news process via blogs, bulletin boards and other measures has met with limited success thus far, according to the Times, but there are some interesting indicators of how the effort is impacting the newsroom:

"In the Greensboro newsroom, more than a dozen reporters and editors are writing blogs, and many others are participating in video and audio feeds. Jennifer Fernandez and Bruce Buchanan, the two education reporters, began one of the first blogs, called Chalkboard. They said they got so many requests for information that the task of keeping the blog current sometimes meant they did not write articles they might otherwise produce for the paper.
"Mr. Buchanan said he was positive about the blog. 'It's gotten people excited about the paper and made them feel they have a stake in it.'
"In May, the blogs received more than 332,000 page views, up from 295,000 in April. But reader comments are still sparse. More lively is the paper's online message board, where readers, who can post items anonymously, offer short spurts of unedited opinion on local topics ranging from jobs with Federal Express to treatment for crack addicts."

Lots of interesting information here for those who have not been closely following the growing list of citizens journalism projects springing up across the country.