Community Journalism – It’s All About You

Community Journalism: empowering people like you to tell the story of their town, school, county, special interest…

Over the last few years, several of us have kicked around the idea of an independent news site for the Four States region, one that tells the whole story, and more stories. That’s not a complaint against other media, just an acknowledgement that there are certain limitations imposed by deadlines and newsprint. For the most part, we’re constrained by neither time nor space.

Not seeing an important story in the news? Write it yourself!

Technologically speaking, it’s not difficult to set up a news site, but the work required to adequately report local news is daunting – it can’t be done on a shoestring, or by just one person.

Last fall, we started talking about it again, and actually sat down to brainstorm how to make it work. We came up with the idea of community journalism: empowering people like you — citizen journalists — to tell the story of their town, school, county, special interest, etc. Here’s the plan:

  • Citizen journalists can log into the site and write complete stories, including pictures and/or videos. We reserve the right to publish the story (or not), delay it while we or the author get clarification on some parts of the story, and edit it for clarity/grammar/spelling. Anyone can be a citizen journalist!
  • We’re especially eager to recruit high-school and college students who are in journalism classes or clubs. If you’re considering journalism as a career, we can give you a platform to establish a work history. We encourage you to report on school board meetings, city council meetings, county commissioners meetings, UIL events… and anything you find interesting. Since we’re not “wasting” space or time with your story, you can get a sense of what’s important to people around you by monitoring the response to your stories.
  • If you have a business that focuses on a specific city, this will be a great way to increase your visibility just by writing two or three stories each month about your community. We can add an “author’s bio” at the end of your stories which can include your business name and a link to it.
  • There is also be a place for breaking news – storm damage, accidents, road construction, etc. Subscribers can snap a picture or shoot a video and upload it with a quick explanation, or email it to us and we’ll do it.

All stories, articles and editorials are linked on Facebook, and easy to share with other social media, to make it easy for our citizen journalists to develop their own following while helping weave together the story of our region.

Ready to get started? Create an account, and start writing!

Not comfortable creating an account, then write your story and submit it to us for review at: Press@fourstatesnews.us