There are 100+ local online publishers in a room in Chicago today, sharing stories and strategies about how to make hyperlocal community media work. Some of them are former journalists living on severance to start small local sites, others are media entrepreneurs running already profitable enterprises, and yet others are news non-profits and regional investigative news networks. Despite the lack of recognition of these types of sites (except for those with budgets of over $1MM at the recent ONA), THIS is a large slice of the future of civic engagement, news literacy and community coverage.
In an era where legacy media is imploding and the corporate solutions are questionable, Block by Block attendees are the local news providers that will increasingly provide news coverage of what matters.
Part of what is so exciting here is the culture of openness. Because few people compete head to head in a given market, the relationship building going on is focused on sharing knowledge, best practices and sharing tips to save time (and effort). It’s kinda like a big hyperlocal rave, really, with every part of the country–and a couple sits from Canada–represented.
You can follow the twitter stream for this event at #bxb11 and watch the live stream as well:
Watch live coverage of Block by Block Community News Summit 2011.
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Summit hashtag: #bxb11