McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

Want to impact your community? Many of McIntosh's citizen boards have open seats and a council at a loss as to how to fill them.

Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

10.28.06 -- Editor's Note: The McIntosh Mirror in the news

Have your ears been burning? Because I've had a busy week and McIntosh has been the subject of quite a few of those conversations.

We had something at the Journalism school this week called "Journalism Week." During this week, a number of alumni and professionals return to the college and talk to the students. I decided that I should talk to some of these professionals about the blog. I graduate in December. I'm planning on going to grad school at UF if I'm accepted and continuing the blog so I could study community journalism.

I've been wondering what to do with the blog for awhile now. Since the town has moved from one stage where protest seemed to be the theme, on to the next stage where we still want to be informed, as a community, but a few people want some healing time from the conflict of the last few months. I DO think about those things and how to reflect them in the blog. After a meeting during the search for a new town clerk, one of the council members asked me if I would just not cover something if it was for the good of the town. That's a tricky question. My answer to him, and I stand by it today, is that I think having open access to a government is always in the town's best interest, for the good the town.

But I still needed to know what to do with the blog. Do I expand it? How do I make it better? Should I have advertising? Should a blog like this make money? Is it OK? Am I approaching journalism within a blog site the "right" way? In regards to my own future career, can I use this to help me get a job? Or should I be out there reporting and writing for clips in other papers?

Well, it turns out these are pretty hard questions, and I am not the only one asking them. But I am one of only a few. It seems that what we have here -- in this blog -- is citizen journalism. It has a name. Who knew? What we've been doing here is also not all that common, and it's a pretty special endeavor. I say we because you, as readers, residents, commenters, are part of "this blog."

I've been talking with a faculty member over at UF, Mindy McAdams. She e-mailed me after she heard about the blog and asked to talk to me. An expert in the area of online media and journalism, she keeps a blog of her own and featured McIntosh and this blog in her site this week.

Real true journalism on a very small scale

A very solo journalist

Today, a civic journalism expert, Leonard Witt from Kennesaw University in Georgia, mentioned the McIntosh Mirror. He posted a survey from the Institute of Interactive Journalism about blogs like this one. I encourage anyone who reads the McIntosh blog to participate in it. It takes about 15 minutes. In some ways, what we are doing in McIntosh is shaping a part of what journalism will be like in the future. You're a part of that. I don't think that's what any of us thought we were doing. I know that I didn't. I was just keeping you informed. And, I intend to keep doing it.

Teaching Online Journalim reviews McIntosh Mirror [sic]

Up next: The Town Council will meet Monday evening for the final interviews in the search for the new McIntosh Town clerk.

posted by Cher @ 1:48 PM,

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Editor

Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

About This Blog

The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

 
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"A Popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." - James Madison, 1822

"Personal journalism is also not a new invention. People have been stirring the pot since before the nation’s founding; one of the most prominent in America’s early history was Ben Franklin, whose Pennsylvania Gazette was civic-minded and occasionally controversial." - Dan Gillmor, 2004, We the Media

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The news blog covers McIntosh, Fla. We strive to be accurate in our reporting. If you believe you something is inaccurate, please e-mail Cher Phillips at philicher@aol.com.

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