Time to shill for some friends: Check out the Twin Cities Daily Planet, and see if there’s a way you can steal or apply the concept to your community.
Adapt is the better word. That’s what members of the Twin Cities Media Alliance did as they began putting together this on-line community in 2005. They looked at the success of the Korean on-line innovator OhmyNews, and wondered if there was a way to take the model of citizen’s making and reporting news in their world and use it to foster independent reporting in Minneapolis – Saint Paul.
It’s been pretty successful so far, primarily taking news feeds from other like-minded media outlets (ethnic press, neighborhood press, community radio) and creating their own stringer pool.
The other side of the story is the fact that the website has been increasing English-speaking traffic to great sites like Hiiraan.com, which up until last year produced content primarily for Somali speakers worldwide. Since 1993, Minneapolis – Saint Paul has become a center of the worldwide Somali diaspora, rivalling population centers like Toronto and Copenhagen. Hiiraan has becoming the leading website for Somali news worldwide, basing a lot of its production on talented academics and media producers here in the Twin Cities. Hiiraan is now the best English language site I’ve found for getting news about Somalia (Keep that in mind as you hear more about U-S involvement in the Horn of Africa).
So steal the concept, but at least give them credit.