Thursday 18 December 2008

Online community sites: could they be the future for local journalism?

In the US, Editor & Publisher reports that the Knight Foundation is making a $390,000 grant to four online community news sites allowing for more staff and the expansion of coverage.
The four sites are the MinnPost, Voice of San Diego, Chi-town Daily News, and the St. Louis Beacon."As the news industry cuts costs by reducing staff -- including local reporters -- citizens are receiving less of the news they need to lead informed lives and hold their governments accountable," Gary Kebbel, the Knight Foundation's journalism program director, said in a statement to the E&P, which very much mirrors what's happening here in the U.K.
Kebbel added: "These young online-only sites help fill the void and offer the information needed to make decisions." The investment is part of the foundation's efforts to find new models for delivering news and information. So far, the Knight Foundation has made $100 million in grants.
If only there was such philanthropy around in the UK to invest in local journalism. Rowntree Trust, perhaps?

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