From the desk of Howard Owens, Director of New Media Ventura County Star. He writes:
Subject: Citizen Journalism
Our online editor, Alicia Hoffman, will be adding the role of citizenjournalism/user-content specialist to her duties.
We see blogs, forums, photo blogs and other forms of citizen journalism as asignificant part of the online news world. Our readers want to be part oft he process of sharing the news and shaping the news. Technology is giving them the tools to do it, and as Dan Gillmor has pointed out, our readers often know more than we do.
They can also be more places than we can. And, they also know what interests them and what news they want in ways that traditional, top-down journalism might miss. We need to give appropriate attention to this growing facet of our business.
Alicia's primary duties as online editor do not change, but the focus of her job will be different. She will pay close attention to how we're interacting with our readers and the content and business opportunities that emerge, and help to shape our evolving strategy. She will guide us in the world of "journalism as a conversation" as we develop VenturaCountyStar.com as the online community center for Ventura County.
Our current plan is to grow organically in this area rather than push any one big initiative. We have blogs, forums and photo blogs now. We will work to grow these and help promote citizen journalism in Ventura County.
Well done Howard! And Good luck Alicia!