Monday, July 09, 2007

Backfence demise not the end of community journalism

One of the more prominent early adopters of "citizen journalism" is shutting up shop. Backfence started in early 2005 with high expectations and now its unfortunate demise is being used as an excuse to call game over for local news and community publishing ventures.

But looked at logically, why should the failure of one community news site, or the survival of others, say anything categorical about the future or viability of community journalism?

Many of the sites that identify with the community media movement look and feel like old media. And there's the rub. Old media is still not quite comfortable with the whole web thing - let alone real communities, mobile extensions etc etc.

Real community journalism remains a significant challenge for traditional media organisations, but one that can be met. Calling for the undertaker because Backfence fell over is giving up way too easily.

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