I just got back from the Community Media Center.  Tonight was the last of the information-gathering meetings.  As Laurie Cirivello from the CMC told the group, tomorrow they start putting a framework together.

If you have not attended any of the meetings, here is Laurie’s drawing that shows what the Neighborhood News Bureau model could look like.

NNB Model

Don’t spend all night trying to figure it out!  Here’s the basic idea: the community is involved every step of the way, helping to shape the content, hopefully get involved in creating it and learning about all the great ways to access it – including ways for the non-connected residents.  My company, WZZM, is bottom left: we are one of the recipients of the content, a potential distributor and, in some ways, a partner in areas like training.

Now, the hard questions need to be answered!

  • Who will sign up to be a community journalist?  How will that relationship be nurtured over the long term?
  • What will the process be for training?  Who will do it?  What training do you do?  How much is needed?
  • How much editorial control will be desired/needed?

You get the idea.  To me, this is an exciting time for Grand Rapids and, frankly, West Michigan.  Communities could get even more hyper-local coverage, area residents will be able to learn more about other parts of town and everyone becomes better informed.

If you want to learn more about this project, check earlier blog entries of mine; I have written quite a few about it.   You can also read a summary on the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s website.  You can also follow the project’s progess on the group’s Facebook page.