It’s good for reporters to get involved in the local discussion communities

Here’s an example of a GateHouse Media reporter who isn’t afraid of the new medium, is entrepreneurial and forward thinking — Jessica Gaspar, a reporter for our weekly in Hennrietta, New York, has started her own section on an independently run town bulletin board.  She calls it Jessica’s Corner.

Jessica uses here posts to ask for story tips, get feedback on articles and promote her own weekly as well as the web site.

Her posts are fun and lively and some of them generate a bit of conversation.  She includes all of her contact information in all of her posts.

Many towns these days have these local bulletin boards that are usually frequented by the biggest news junkies and gossip hounds in town.  It makes a lot of sense for a reporter covering that beat to become part of that community.

If Jessica happens by this blog post maybe she will leave a comment about how this has all worked out for her — the upsides and downsides and what she’s learned.

(via RottenChester)

2 thoughts on “It’s good for reporters to get involved in the local discussion communities

  1. Hey Howard! I just read your post.

    The online forum has been helpful for me. I love having the kind of accessibility to town residents the forum has given me. I’ve gotten a few story ideas and met a lot of new people in the process!

    The forum is nice for residents, too, because they can converse with me on the forum or they’ll e-mail me or call me to talk more. I think they really enjoy having that kind of accessibility to me as well.

    I love being able to post potential story ideas to see if there’s interest out there. I have opened up the door for people to send me their story ideas. I have already followed up on some.

    One other positive side to this is residents get to know me. A lot of times, I think, people see my name and contact number at the end of the story and sort of shrug it off. But, if I’m out there talking to people, they get to know me and are more comfortable chatting with me about what’s going on in town.

    I hope this was helpful for everyone!


  2. Oh! I do have to say one downside is the users tend to use handles rather than their real names. Some have seemed like really good sources for stories, but then refused to go on record or give me their name. But, I guess that’s the downside to being a journalist period — you’re always going to have that PERFECT source who doesn’t want to go on the record.

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