There’s a good essay going around the blogosphere about a former journalist who started up a blog about the happenings of her local community. She uses sarcasm and humor while covering “hyperlocal” stories, such as a train delay or a set of lazy lifeguards (I take a bit of offense to that one, because I was once a card-playing lifeguard myself :)). At its worst she calls it “small town newspaper meets the Daily Show”, but at its best they publicly scrutinize the small town happenings that never get covered.
Blogs get a lot of attention these days, usually unwarranted. This is the type of thing that the medium is great for. Jeff Jarvis talked about the flaws of local newspapers today before talking about this essay. The truth is a lot of news, and blog postings (i.e. this one) are regurgitation. There’s a lot of news going on in your own backyard and I would like to see more people recognize this. The web has an opportunity to enhance real-life communities by mirroring them in cyberspace. We see this in play on campus with the Facebook.
This is the type of thing I would love to be doing in my hometown when I am through with school. Last summer we had two totally random shootings that got some press coverage, but I haven’t heard much since. We also had a town commissioner hit a cop, that I would like to hear more about. Until then, though, I guess I’m stuck with reading Philly.com.