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What should replace the newspaper?

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Mar. 18th, 2009 | 10:20 pm

I had a longer post, but accidentally lost it.

During tonight's pasadena district 4 community meeting one really important issue came up.

Once upon a time, there was more turn out for these kinds of meetings, and there were two ideas why attendance might have declined. Perhaps now it's easier to get in touch with the city council, and tell them what you think is going on.

Or once upon a time the local paper had the time and money to send reporters to city meetings and report on what was interesting. Basically its hard to attend things you don't know about.

So the big question is, what should replace that function of the newspaper?

LAist is doing a pretty good job reporting on things in the general LA metro area, but what should we do for a city?

Should we have our PasadenaIST (blog)? Should we run a planet Pasadena and aggregate(blog aggregator) all of the various pasadena related blogs? should we try for a community wiki? or perhaps an edited news aggregation site like slashdot or fark? or should we just focus on making the cities website easier to navigate?

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Comments {6}

(no subject)

from: clynne
date: Mar. 19th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
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Wouldn't an edited news aggregations site have the same problems as sending a news staffer to meetings, ie, it would cost money and staff you don't have? I think LAist is edited to a certain extent, actually.

An aggregator is probably the simplest/cheapest solution; a community wiki seems undoable without heavy editorial oversight.

I guess it depends on what information you want to get out -- all of the above options strike me as very different from "making the city website more navigable." If you're trying to get relatively static city information out, yes, improve the website. If you're trying to get regular information about what is going on in the city (meetings, events, news) then some kind of blog or news portal would be better.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Mar. 25th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
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Well, the edited sites I'm thinking of, the "editing" is mostly picking things from user submissions, so the current common web system of ads or subscription could probably support a couple of people.

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It's French... bitch.

(no subject)

from: vengeant
date: Mar. 20th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
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All of te above! Yay! ;-)


...More practically speaking, what'll probably replace the newspaper is a website (possibly including one or more of your suggestions) that's run by someone with a bunch of time on their hands and a passion for local politics and government. So, um, don't hold your breath. (Or do it yourself, if you're up for that kind of punishment and suffering!)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 25th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
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But I'm part of the government, it'd be kind of self-serving for me to also be reporting on myself.

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It's French... bitch.

(no subject)

from: vengeant
date: Apr. 2nd, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
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Well, clearly, you'd have to assume a false identity, to disguise the fact that it was actually you running the website.

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kandontsky

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from: kandontsky
date: Mar. 25th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
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No to focusing on a monolithic, city government run website as the primary source of information. The website is fine as an entity unto itself, but there need to be other non-trivial outlets. Information has to be decentralized. Evaluating the credibility of the alternative sources raises interesting issues.

Why do we trust newspapers more than a Socialist Party pamphlet being passed out by a crusty guy with a mohawk? Why do we believe the local TV news more than most youtube diatribes? Getting the average person to disregard the quality of the presentation layer when trying to determine if they feel the information is trustworthy will be a challenge. Thus the free-for-all, everyone yelling at once model doesn't really work.

People get overwhelmed with too many choices. Most like a handful of options to choose from. I suppose multiple 3rd parties could separately collect the noise and determine what is deemed relatively accurate and present a subset of the data to the consumer, but I think we just came full circle.

(BTW, I'm not suggesting what doesn't make the cut is censored; you'd just have to access it yourself.)

As far as town meetings, they could rig it up so that anyone could "telecommute" and interact, whether by text, audio, or video. I'm sure it would be an absolute clusterfuck at first, but they'd probably get it sorted out. Eventually.

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