I like to keep up on how local governments behave regarding ethical standards, human rights, protection of children, treatment of citizens, and adherence (or not) to the statutes of the State of Illinois. On an irregular schedule, I publish the KankakeeGazette.com.
My journey to here began in early November 2010: I resolved to seek out a newspaper to cover Kankakee in their online edition. In a small town with one city paper struggling like other newspapers around the country, much information was missing about local issues significant to the lives of Kankakee residents.
Several days later, a good friend gave me a Chicago Tribune article. The story by Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood was about Elaine Coorens and the one-year anniversary of her web newspaper Our Urban Times.
“I did this because we lost our last local paper,” she (Coorens) said. Is this the future of journalism? Maybe it is. But I strongly believe you cannot have a community without communication.”
That article is taped on my livingroom wall reminding me every day of what Elaine Coorens is doing and why.
Much has been written about how newspapers are dying, journalism is being replaced by infomercial news, and ethical standards of the press are going the way of Gutenberg’s press. Maybe so. Maybe one day the scent of newsprint will be nothing but a bittersweet memory. I hope not.
People are speaking up all over the country. Blogs, community websites, open source, social media, iPhones, instant images, instant answers, Tweeting, Tumblring and more are filling the void created by a floundering newspaper industry.
Want to be part of this surge spreading around the globe?
BE a newspaper: ethical, legal, stick to the facts, and, oh yes, speak up while we still have a U.S. Constitution that supports that right. You might enjoy it.