Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Internet as a Right?

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post here about the concept of Internet as a right.

My initial thought on this is that it would be more precise to talk about information as a right. Saying the Internet is a right is sort of like saying that hospitals or medical offices are a right, rather than the health care provided within them.

And what kind of information should we have the right to? I would suggest we start with the information most useful to people on a daily basis -- what schools are available to send your children to; details of community meetings; where crime is prevalent and what police are doing to protect the community; the list goes on ....

Of course, providing this hyper-local level of information requires a different economic model. I think it has to be a nonprofit model fueled by hybrid sources of revenue -- mainly advertising supplemented by philanthropy.

We're doing that here in the Bronx.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Christian Science Monitor Reports on Nonprofit Journalism

This Christian Science Monitor article is the latest to report on a nascent nonprofit journalism movement.

It's great that nonprofit news is getting attention here and in the two main journalism magazines -- AJR and CJR (more on these last two later). I'm learning about many of these publications (like the Voice of San Diego) for the first time.

But in future reporting, I'd like to see mention of hyper-local publications (yes, like mine but also several others) that are doing reporting at the neighborhood level -- in other words, the kind of traditional reporting that community newspapers do that isn't fully supported by the economy of low income neighborhoods.

I always say that the neighborhoods that can't afford good community journalism are the ones that need it the most.