There have been times over the years when I’d be so vexed and miffed with the local newspapers that I’d think about starting my own. Actually it was more like fantasizing than thinking, because once thinking actually entered into the the daydream I’d think of the enormous start-up costs for a plant and equipment, the challenge of vetting reporters, recruiting advertisers, dealing with unions and worrying about things such as whether my delivery staff was actually delivering the paper or sitting at Krispy Kreme. I’d then find more pleasant uses for my imagination.
Then the blogosphere began to coalesce and a wide variety of opinion, analysis and even news reporting became easily available. Clicking between multiple voices from various sides of an issue and across the political spectrum increased my awareness and understanding (especially once I discovered the MOB).
Much is written and disputed in both the print and online media these days about the shrinking influence of the old model of journalism and the new wave. I won’t rehash the arguments for and against here, but I was very intrigued by this post today from Jay Rosen (PressThink) on the “stand alone journalist” and his description of virtual newspapers where writers could submit news and punditry for purchase and posting. More details on this concept are available here and here, and a Minneapolis edition can be found here.
I think it’s an interesting concept, and while I’d still make my daily visits to the Fraters, Mitch, the Captain and the other NARNians as well as MOBsters such as Bogus, MAWB Squad, Kool Aid Report, the Psycmeistr and Centrisity (to name but a few), these are all strong voices that would be great regular contributors to a consolidated Minnesota site – and even better if they could make a few bucks in the process!
Granted, I’m new to the blogosphere and perhaps this type of thing has been tried and found wanting for reasons not readily apparent to me. If any bloggers have already looked into the NewsMinneapolis site, or choose to look into it now, I’d be very interested in hearing your reactions.