Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Citizen Journalism on NCFocus

If you go looking for the journalism on NCFocus, you'll have trouble finding it in the morass; still haven't gotten around to tagging the posts.

If you went looking, here's what you'd find:

  • A little over a year ago, I proposed a collaborative journalism project to look into Nevada City's then-recurrent* smelly drinking water. I was hoping to interest the local newspaper, community TV station, community radio station, online news site, and/or counterpart right-wing weblog in joining in, but the attempt to enlist these others did not meet with success. I did (and reported) a phone interview with the water plant operator, but never did feel confident that I understood the ultimate source of the problem. But while the project wasn't a success at educating the reader or writer, it likely helped, since the problem appears to be solved: for many months, the drinking water's been excellent.
    (Many sincere thanks to those who fixed it!)
  • Several times in 2004 I posted the source material behind community controversies involving the local paper, so readers could judge for themselves (e.g. here); also found and reported the backstory to an article on the paper's publisher, that appeared Jan. 2005 in the Sacramento Bee.
  • In June 2006 I became curious about the funding of the Sierra Environmental Studies Foundation; the principals were slow to respond when asked, so I looked into its background, and posted the findings.
    (Received my first (and only overt) invitation to leave town shortly afterward, though I don't know that it was related.)
    I still feel that there's more to this story.

And there are a number of half-finished cit-j projects, that need to be completed or jettisoned:
  • Interview with local right-wing blogger, from last spring (thanks Russ and sorry to be such a slug)
  • Interview with Lisa Randle of PG&E on November power outages, etc ( initial report here)
  • Attempted repeatedly, without success, to get answers from our U.S. Representative, John Doolittle. Now that he wishes to reconnect with his constituents, I should try again.
  • Looking behind the "CFC-free-shuttle-foam-disaster" rant radio story from over a year ago; I'd contacted the story's Stanford physicist source who said his views were misrepresented
  • Historical project on the 1918 influenza pandemic and WWI as they were reported at that time in the local paper - started the series in Oct 2005, but left it on a cliffhanger...

Unfortunately, the finding out is typically much more interesting than the writing up.