Quicklink: A Manifesto For The Hyperlocal
I have been out of touch with my buddy over at Sheepshead Bites for awhile now. This is a shame as he is a rather nice chap. However, when I notice that he has written a piece such as the above, well, at least I know he is alive, well and fighting the good fight! More importantly, this tome touches upon a number of issues yours truly encounters finds quite disconcerting and given the state of print reporting in north Brooklyn it is just as— if not more so— relevant here as it is in his stomping grounds “down south”. Take this passage for example:
I believe local journalism, local government and local economies are the linchpins of a vibrant, healthy nation. For decades, as conglomerates swallowed up independent news outlets across the nation (our own local paper, Bay News, is owned by News Corp. – the same company that owns Fox News and the New York Post, for example), local coverage was watered down because community reporting is expensive, and stockholders want dividends. And because corporations can view employees as easily replaceable cogs, one reporter who lives in the community and has covered it for decades is just as valuable as one straight out of journalism school three states over.
But community reporting requires more than cogs. It requires more than an academic familiarity of those it covers. What meaningful local reporting requires is a personal investment. If the reporter doesn’t stand to benefit from a healthy community, his coverage will serve to dramatize and exacerbate problems rather than solve them.
When Sheepshead Bites ventures to cover the community, we do it because we’re neighbors. Our writers live here. Our business is based here. And we endeavor to support and uplift our neighbors for all of our benefit.
I could not have said it better myself! Do take a moment to give Ned’s tome a read. It is more than worth the time.