Monday, December 13, 2004

Ex-Reporter To Launch Citizen Blog in D.C. Suburbs

A former Washington Post reporter who describes himself as a "recovering journalist" and a partner are going to start something called, a blog where readers provide the copy, covering everthing from Little League & PTA doings to City Hall.

Their plan is to expand to 16 other metro areas, with 10 "town-size" sites for each area, reports Washington Post Media critic Howie Kurtz.

McLean & Reston in Virginia are the first two markets for the open-source journalism venture.

"Spurred by the success of political blogs," former Post reporter Mark Potts and partner Susan DeFife "are convinced that thousands of people in places like McLean and Reston can become bloggers, or post responses to other bloggers' columns, or contribute photos and information about their particular subcultures. Backfence would have a five-person staff -- plus free classifieds, Yellow Pages-style listings and a local search function -- but the content would be provided by the users. The goal: Build it and they will post."

The project is modeled in part on a Web site launched by the Bakersfield Californian newspaper, Kurtz reports. Investors are taking a wait-and-see attitude.

No comments: