Community Training in the Ecosystem

Posted on 18. Aug, 2009 by in Citizen Network, Hyperlocal, New News Organization, News Ecosystem, Not-For-Profit

One function that runs throughout the entire ecosystem is the role of community training — both in editorial coverage and ad sales.

The New News Organization plays an important role here as an outlet for experienced, professional journalists to train local bloggers and citizen journalists how to cover their communities with more depth, detail and accuracy. That training would then help the NNO expand its daily coverage of education, local politics, crime, business, sports, entertainment and nightlife. (See our post from yesterday on the staffing breakdown for the NNO.)

Mike Reicher, a CUNY J-School grad student, wrote about his experience at The Local this summer recruiting experienced journalists to train budding community reporters and photographers.

Also, in our interviews with several not-for-profit news sites, we found experienced investigative journalists like Trent Seibert of Texas Watchdog training everyday people around the country how to properly cover their communities. Doing so has allowed Trent and his colleagues to raise more money for their investigative news site, which will play a vital role in the future of journalism.

And as local coverage grows, there will also be opportunities for professional training in citizen sales. In the larger framework, business-to-business services like a white label email and online marketing training service — or even in-person training sessions — could provide viable revenue opportunities for a new news organization. Those services also represents the kind of broader community outreach people like Steve Buttry have been calling for in various places and in response to some of our models. As a result, citizen sales training could help independent local bloggers grow their ad revenues without the need to hire a full-time sales person.

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