Portrait of George Washington (Igor Babailov)
Yesterday I encouraged people to actually get up and do something. As my day progressed, I realized I had failed to imagine a golden opportunity. In this era of bland, corporate antijournalism, when traditional media is dying and faggy establishment clickbaiters are being fired en masse, it seems like some of us could fill the vacuum.
It strikes me that any of us could, given enough time, start our own online local newspaper. It could be started as simply and as cheaply as I started this blog. WordPress provides the format at no cost, and there are plugins for local weather and pro sports data.
If I were doing this, I’d give my paper an establishment-friendly, but non partisan name: The San Patricio Herald, or The Oakland Tribune. Those sound like typical newspaper names. Once I started up, I’d understand that I would need some new content daily, and I think this is where I could get hung up. Fortunately, writers for such a paper are fairly easy to find.
- High school students can start padding their cv by writing about theater and sports.
- Most community colleges have a journalism club. Go attend a meeting and meet your new part-time employees.
- Retired old geezers often go to city council meetings and stuff. Pay these people ten bucks for a decent article.
You’ll still have to edit the hell out of most of your submissions, but much of the actual writing can be outsourced very easily, and often people will do it simply for a byline.
If I were doing this, I’d be careful, not only to provide an alternative to the dying print edition, but also, to provide an alternative coverage. I’d probably start reading my local paper, and notice the general slant. If your paper is sucking the mayor’s cock constantly, then you’ll want to focus on the garden variety city councilman or police chief who might be opposing him.
Likewise, if there’s a particular community within your town that’s underserved, I’d throw them an occasional nod. If there were a large Spanish or French speaking community in my town, I’d print some bilingual articles, just to see if I could pick up some new readers.
I’d also be careful not to editorialize (other than in the editorial page). The average consumer is sick to death of this crap, and there’s currently a huge demand for straight news. I’d probably be open about my biases up front (I’m starting a local alternative to the corporate/globalist rag in town) but otherwise I’d work hard and try to be as impartial as I possibly could.