Defining ‘community newsroom’

Photo by Flickr user Steven W.
Photo by Flickr user Steven W.

The first task, as I begin this project to examine community newsrooms and their impact on the traditional news organizations, is to define what the heck I’m looking at.

When I detailed  my plan to research community newsrooms, a few readers of this blog were correct in pointing out that I need to begin for defining a community newsroom.

Indeed, when when speaking to a relative (and small business owner) about my project, she asked “What the heck do you mean by community newsroom?”

Community can mean many things to different people. For some it’s gepgraphic, others it’s demographic.

Joseph Thornley, CEO of PR firms Thornley Fallis and 76 Design,  noted the newsrooms I intend to examine didn’t have an ‘about’ page, to explain exactly what they were. His suggestion:

Perhaps you could start out with a post defining a “community newsroom” and listing some of the key characteristics/functions common to them.

Great idea. So here goes…

Key Characteristics/functions of community newsrooms to be examined

  • Publishing online
  • Content creation comes from community member(s), not newsroom journalists
  • Content may or may not be co-ordinated/edited by traditional news editor

Things to examine about these newsrooms

  • What kind of content these community newsrooms are producing?
  • The community connection – be it geographic, common interest, what have you
  • Resources – how are these funded?
  • Quantity: How much content are these newsrooms really producing?

This said: This is a pretty fluid landscape I’m about to tread on.. I’m intentionally being broad with this definition to be as inclusive as possible and look at what’s out there.

Your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Defining ‘community newsroom’

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