The old journalism model would have inserted a “to” in those brackets. Today’s shifting ideas plop a “with” in there.
Community journalism can be defined in many ways, but here I’ll focus on the idea of gathering people from the community and putting them to work (or at least publishing the work they already do).
Call it crowdsourcing or “cooking in public” or creating a river— the basic kernel of wisdom here says the community no longer serves as only our audience but also as helpers in the creation and curation of information in our local neighborhoods.
The public holds ideas. Journalism remains steadfastly an industry that swings its doors on the hinges of execution. We need one another in a time of constant information flow.
Stories exist that now have the chance to be told by both professional journalists and community writers alike. Lack of accuracy is one argument against the inclusion of our readers as writers — but even we don’t always get the facts right.
If anything, including more readers might prompt the pros to take a second. Slowww. Dowwnnnn. Double-check our own facts.
The future of journalism stands “with” our audience, as readers and content and idea sharers. After all, better to be down a river than up a creek.