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What Makes Local News Really Local?

Agenda Item: “Local papers realize that all ordinary lives are interesting.”

The article mentions that larger (possibly national) papers do not do these local human interest pieces because they see no news value in ordinary people doing ordinary things. While local papers may find interest in people doing mundane things I personally do not. If you told me that Susie Mae Johnson takes out her trash every night at 4pm for the next days pick up I would find no news value in that type of information.

Now if there was a spin on the story like: Susie Mae Johnson takes out her trash every night at 4pm only for it to disappear before the next mornings pick up; we might have a story. Some kind of trash bandit/dumpster diver or something interesting like that. I am just theorizing here, but normal people doing normal things are not of interest to me. Maybe I have been tainted by my love for reading larger news publications. It is also my opinion that the printing of a story of someone who has turned 100 years old is another example of a waste of print.

At this point I feel like I almost devalue community journalism. This of course makes me a hypocrite because I have been involved with the Setonian over the past 4 years and it is no doubt an example of community journalism. It follows and covers events that affect the community of Seton Hill University. I was shocked to read about the paper that photographs the map and then puts the map photo in the paper. This is just an insult to the career of the photo-journalist. And then there is the precise scientific practice of using a magic marker to note the spots on the map where a yard sale is taking place. Come on people and get with it here. That is why people go to school to become graphic designers.

I understand that Local-Local papers are all about the people, but to me that almost makes them seem amateur in nature. I personally would not want to work for a local paper that is as small as some of the ones mentioned in the article. I am not against local or community journalism by any means, but I would just prefer to go bigger.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 6, 2008 2:16 PM.

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