This content originally appeared on my former Chicagosphere online-media blog, hosted on the Chicago Tribune‘s ChicagoNow network.
Today, WLUW 88.7-FM‘s indie audio magazine, Outside the Loop RADIO, interviews Yours Truly sending out a call to action to local bloggers. As I wrote in these virtual pages, last week I participated in a major local media conference and attended another. Both were aimed at finding ways to make online news sustainable in the Windy City.
Trouble is, future sustainability didn’t turn out to be much of a topic at either. Worse, even with the release of a major report (also covered on Chicagosphere) touting the growing importance of community-oriented websites for disseminating local news, the blogosphere was given short shrift at both events, as well.
That came as no surprise. For a long time, Chicago’s blogosphere has been discussed, derided, or simply dismissed by many (though by no means all) in the traditional journalism community. Speaking up as a member of the blogging community, earlier this week on CHICAGO CARLESS I proposed we local bloggers come together to discuss strategies for the future of our community amongst ourselves. I didn’t know if much would come of the idea.
Much has. At week’s end, five leading bloggers and online editors have gotten behind the idea and a major masthead (I wonder which?) has offered space and materials for a weekend mini-retreat for an invited group to talk about where we see our community–and our websites–headed in the face of growing pressure for us to cover local news. And make a living while we’re at it.
There’s a name, too. C-BOM: Community Blogging and Online Media Strategy Day. You’ll hear more about C-BOM, including the date (expected in mid-July), the core group of bloggers, and the sponsor very soon.
In today’s interview, I talk about C-BOM and why finding its own voice is important both for the local blogging community and the future of local and niche news in Chicago with OTL host Mike Stephen. The interview (OTL #143) is available this morning via iTunes, or you can listen over the air or live-stream the station at 6:00 p.m. tonight or download the show from the OTL archives.
(Regular readers may remember this is my second time on OTL. I first appeared on the show back in November to discuss the CTA’s winter homeless harassment. You can find that show–#114– in the OTL archives here.)