Wednesday, September 19, 2007
(That's not what the picture shows).
Tech President gets the big prize of $10,000 from the 2007 Knight-Batten Awards. Bluffton Today, former employer of Jim McBee, gets a notable mention.
You can gain hope and learn lots from looking around at the other winners and notable entries.
And you can learn lots by looking at previous sites noted for their innovation, like Baristanet. That "community journalism" site has joined the ranks of online sites assaulting readers, like The Washington Post and the Gaston Gazette, which both took money from Ford Motor Company for a drop-down ad with video this morning. The ad hindered usability by covering up search boxes. (Please, Ford web crawlers: come to this blog and get a clue).
Look around at the sad evidence of a failed effort at BackFence, or what passes for news at YourHub. Keep your fingers crossed that places like Loudon Extra will make money and encourage local reporting.
Seek hope in Dan Gillmor's ideas for sustainability.
Grants can buy some time, but that time needs to be spent pounding on sustainability. It goes beyond newspapers and community blogs to public TV stations as well.
Take a moment to toast and visit sites like Davidsonnet, Under the Water Tower and the fledgling Ballantyne Daily.
Then keep thinking about the uncluttered sustainability of real, complicated, expensive story-telling, like The Morning Call's multimedia narrative about one homeless man named Earl.