Lyn Jerde, a veteran community journalist who covers county affairs for the Portage Daily Register, shared with the newsroom a story from Suburban Newspapers of America titled “Writing About People You Know.”
It’s worth sharing here. The story describes “relationship journalism” and addresses the new digital demands on community newspapers. One nugget raised a concern I’ve shared during the Maynard Multimedia Editing Program:
However, digital media are compelling competition and they spawn competing communities—communities of interest, not location. On Facebook and other social media sites, people interact with little or no regard to physical geography, perhaps eroding connections within the local community.
The story also says community bonds are being weakened by the loss of local jobs and resulting long commutes. Lyn has noticed this in Columbia County. She has been keeping an eye on the county’s shift toward bedroom community status; Madison, our state capital, is less than an hour south by Interstate 39. The SNA story is worth a read.