April 11, 2007

500 Editors and Counting

by amy at 4:56 PM

When we launched last week, we were curious about how our new site would perform. What kinds of folks would sign up to be editors? Would they be clustered on the coasts? Why would they want to participate?

What we’ve found in the first week is that people really do want to have a say in their local news. As of today, 500 people have signed up to edit more than 550 topics. And they’re from all over the country: from Washington State to Washington DC.

Their reasons for participating are also varied. Like the editors in North Bend, WA and Riverton WY, many are news junkies. Some other patterns also emerged:

Journalists and bloggers

The editor of the Newark, OH page has a master’s degree in journalism. The Washington, DC page is being groomed by a local blogger, photographer, and former college newspaper editor. A self-proclaimed “recovering journalist” is editing the Prescott Valley AZ page, while a former newspaper columnist and retired English teacher has taken the reins of the Newburgh, NY news. Houston, TX has three editors, one of whom is a graduating senior in broadcast journalism with a passion for working with online multimedia.

People who love where they live

The editor of the Interlochen, MI page is not only a blogger, but also a big fan of his small town. Los Angeles is in good hands, with an editor who has lived in Los Angeles for 10 years and claims, “Friends often call me when they are lost, and I am cooler than a bot.” Many editors were born and raised in their town, such as the Republic, WA editor, who cares “about the community being current on information and news in their neighborhood.” The editor of the St. Peters, MO page is interested in both local and statewide news, and thinks editing, “will be both an exciting challenge, and an opportunity to see first hand the news affecting my neighborhood.”

Small towns with no newspaper

Lucky for Schertz, TX, a town of just 35,000 people, with “no real media to speak of,” we have the town’s communication officer editing their news. Caledonia, WI, which also has no newspaper, now has a voice and place to share news quickly. And Pleasant Hill, CA – a community in the San Francisco Bay Area – now has its own editor to keep “my fellow citizens informed about important and interesting local news.”

And folks who just want to help

Berkeley Heights, NJ has no less than the head of the reference department for the local public library keeping its citizens up-to-date on “living in this township, Union County and the State of New Jersey.” The Redmond, WA editor says, “It's important to me to stay informed about what is going on in my community.” And the editor of the Germany page commented, “Looks like the Germany page needs help. There are some articles on it which are IMHO at the wrong place.” We think so, too.

To all the editors who have signed up, thank you.