Ohio Site Aims To Lift User-Generated News

The Akronist, launched by grantmaking organization the Akron Community Foundation, is on a mission to raise the level of local user-generated content through its media training center while filling a void in the area’s hyperlocal and community news.

From Akron, Ohio, comes an independent site with a novel mission: Empower the community by smartening up the level of user-generated content it produces.

The Akronist, whose name is a mash up of Akron and citizen journalist (and not to be confused the much tonier Gothamist family of sites) is actually part of a dual initiative. Launched under the auspices of the Akron Community Foundation, a local grantmaking organization, its first initiative was a media training center to school locals in a higher level of citizen reporting.

“Before we even started the website, we recruited people to be citizen and community journalists,” said Chris Miller, the site’s editor and director of the training center. “We offered a crash course in basic journalism and multimedia journalism.”

The center’s classes cover everything from basic interviewing and the principles of journalism to media ethics, blogging, photography and video editing. Housed in downtown’s Akron-Summit County Public Library, it also features a lab for community members to come in and edit photos and videos as well as check out equipment like camera, lighting kits, sound equipment and tripods.

So far, Miller estimates the center has trained more than 200 people since its launch over two years ago. About 15-20 community members are regular contributors to the site at any given time, he added, as well as about half a dozen professional freelancers.


Complete text linked here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *