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Sudbury Star Experimenting with Citizen Journalism and Social Media

I have to tip my hat to our local newspaper, the Sudbury Star.  They’ve started a new community section of the website encouraging citizen journalism and blogging.  (Disclosure: I do not have any affiliation with the Sudbury Star or Osprey Media.)

It has its problems, certainly.  However, instead of picking on them for what they’re doing wrong, I want to talk about what they’re doing right.

Anyone can create an account.  Once you have an account you can instantly start blogging or posting articles.  For example, I submitted a piece about the dismal adoption rate of social media by our local candidates in the upcoming Ontario General Election.  It was published immediately!  I was certain it would have to go through some approval process, but they’ve opted
to trust the community for now.  I applaud them for this courage!  They understand that the web is all about instant gratification.

They’re giving everyday citizens the opportunity to participate in their local news and in the social media sphere without having to take on the responsibilities of running their own blog or website. I don’t know what to expect from this.  As things pick up and it gets busier we’ll see what will come about from the strains on the system.  But maybe, just maybe, we’ll see citizens taking responsibility for how news is spread in their community. Maybe people other than me will participate.  I can dream…