I have an article (free reg. req.) in the new issue of CommonWealth Magazine on the citizen-journalism movement as exemplified by H2otown, a weblog covering Watertown. The piece focuses on Lisa Williams, who started the site about a year ago, and who covers town-council meetings by TiVoing them on the local-access channel and then taking notes after her kids have gone to bed.
Among other things, Williams tells me:
I don’t see H2otown as a newspaper, but it’s important to me that it add up to something. I’m not a professionally trained journalist. My coverage is limited by my babysitting coverage. I’m perfectly willing to be humble about that. But volunteer media is a heck of a lot better than no media. I’m angry at the economic realities of media consolidation. This is an extremely widespread problem.
Other folks I interviewed include Christopher Lydon, host of the blogified radio program “Open Source”; citizen-journalism pioneer Dan Gillmor; Universal Hub impresario Adam Gaffin; the Berkman Center’s Jonathan Zittrain; the Poynter Institute’s Steve Outing; Baristanet founder Debbie Galant; and Greg Reibman and Dan Atkinson of Community Newspaper Co., which publishes the Watertown Tab & Press.