New Media Study Ranks CHICAGO CARLESS Top-20 Community Website

(Graphic: Apparently, the “new news” is on the blogosphere.)

A new report on the state of local news released today named CHICAGO CARLESS among the top-20 community-centric websites in Chicago. Oh. My.

Authored by grassroots media-relations training organization Community Media Workshop and commissioned by the Chicago Community Trust, the report, The New News: Journalism We Want and Need (PDF link), examines the state of online community news in Chicago, in the face of declining local coverage by the city’s traditional daily newspapers.

The report identifies 60 local websites dealing wholly or in part with the dissemination of Chicago-centric news and ranks them based on five individual criteria including number of RSS subscribers, number of monthly visitors, average visit length, and Google and Alexa page ranks, as well as a subjective criterion that assesses elements such as transparency, uniqueness, and use of social-media tools.

What’s truly notable is the number of local blog sites in that top-20 (although I am proud to be the only memoir blogger to make the list!) The full list includes:

1. Chi-Town Daily News
2. Windy City Media Group
3. Gapers Block
4. Progress Illinois
5. Windy Citizen
6. WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
7. Chicago Parent
8. Catalyst Chicago
9. Chicagoist
10. Midwest Business
11. CTA Tattler
12. The Beachwood Reporter
13. NewCity
14. Chicago Defender
15. District 299
16. The Chicago Reporter
17. The Urbanophile
18. Chicago Carless
19. 600 Words by Esther J. Cepeda, and
20. Marathon Pundit

I won’t retread Monday’s justification for having written this highly personal blog for the past four years. But I will point out this post from April, where I cautioned print media to look to the blogosphere for tomorrow’s journalists. And columnists, for that matter.

I’ll hold off on the “I-told-you-so’s” just long enough to do a happy dance for me and my fellow apparently opinion-leading local bloggers.

Then again, maybe I won’t. Collectively, we local bloggers have been trying to point out to traditional media our growing influence for a long time. Some outlets get it. (Witness the Tribune‘s ChicagoNow.) Others not so much. For them, journalistic hubris will be its own reward. Likely in the form of a footnote on Newspaper Death Watch.

Me, I’ll stick with the approach that works. Writing from the heart about the local issues I care about and reaching out to my community of readers in a spirit of transparent debate. That, and never thinking I have an exclusive license on the truth or other shape-shifting forms of alleged objectivity.

On the blogosphere like nowhere else, the medium truly is the message. Bully for Chicago’s blogosphere today.

For more about the Workshop’s new report and what it means for local bloggers, see my full coverage today on CHICAGOSPHERE.

Huzzah.

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