Update: June 11, 2011
The FCC released a report
calling for more local journalism citing the digital revolution as a reason many communities lack accountable reporting.
"Yet, in part because of the digital revolution, serious problems have arisen, as well. Most significant among them: in many communities, we now face a shortage of local, professional, accountability reporting. This is likely to lead to the kinds of problems that are, not surprisingly, associated with a lack of accountabilitymore government waste, more local corruption, less effective schools, and other serious community problems. The independent watchdog unction that the Founding Fathers envisioned for journalismgoing so far as to call it crucial to a healthy democracyis in some cases at risk at the local level."
We think we've figured out a business model that will help sustain local news BECAUSE of the digital revolution, not in spite of it. If you have any questions about the project, feel free to send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help fill that lack of accountability on the local level by contributing to our campaign.
News, in its most basic form, is information.
Raw data that is worthless without an actor and receiver.
The medium for delivering and disseminating news has morphed
throughout the ages, but the same basic principle is at play.
News doesnt have to be restricted to paper, video, radio it can
be however big or small you want. And it can be tailored to the
most relevant aspect of your life: where you are.
Share information with your neighbors, co-workers, fans of the team
you cheer for from the same city, grandma, find out why that fire truck
just blazed past you
Or, simply, discover the health scores to your favorite restaurant.
News isnt changing, but the technology for its delivery is. Dont wait until morning to figure that out.
Help put Arlington on the map by contributing to a forward-thinking, information-sharing platform for the city.
Arlington is too big and dynamic not to have a dedicated news source.
Come fall 2011, Arlington will have just that a dedicated news
source that reflects its greatest asset: you. Wherever you are.
Social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook, have helped create the worlds most informed generation, but theres little to no engagement with those connections. Most information sharing terminates at the user. Our site will serve as an information-sharing platform by coupling vetted news content with user contributions for Arlington, Texas, which is often overshadowed by news coverage of Dallas and Fort Worth.
The team is headed by Mark Bauer, who is on track to graduate from UT-Arlington in December 2011 with a BA in Communication, his major in journalism and minor in philosophy. His last semester at UT-Arlington was spent researching the history of digital newsrooms and journalists trials and errors in online media management. He was editor in chief at the University of Texas at Arlington's award-winning daily student newspaper, The Shorthorn, for all of 2010. Co-founder David Mehl has experience in various business, real estate and legal ventures and has attention-to-detail skills that will serve him well in an administrative role.
What We Need & What You Get
While a website is less expensive than a print product, start-up expenses like legal advice, servers, domains, web development, marketing, research and equipment (computers, cameras) add up in a big way. Money raised will go to pay at least one of those expenses. The site will launch even if we raise a mere $10, but the greater the amount we raise the greater the chances are of creating a sustainable, long-lasting information-sharing platform.
Those who contribute, depending on the amount given, will have special accounts created in their names and will be given pre-launch access to the site, where they can provide feedback to help shape and finalize features before it's released to the general public in September. Also, depending on the amount contributed, you will receive an invitation to the launch party (previously reserved for only grandparents). All who contribute, no matter what amount, will get their name included on a permanent contributors list posted on the site. But more than anything, you get the satisfaction of knowing you helped plant a seed with far-reaching potential, even beyond our city limits, affecting how others produce and consume the news.
Thanks for your support!