Posted by Sarah F.
Orting is a small town southeast of Tacoma that I had never heard of. Its longtime weekly newspaper, The Gazette, stopped publishing at the end of March. To remedy the lack of news coverage and try a new business venture, a community member launched Orting News, which solicits articles and content created by citizens of the town.
The Seattle Times wrote a really nice commentary piece on how the site got started. But the column ended with:
The Orting News isn’t journalism …
Seriously? Why isn’t it journalism?
My reaction is that The Seattle Times has an outdated and kind of elitist definition of journalism. Granted, the content that you find on Orting News is rather fluffy – there is a lot of buzz about how the Fourth of July celebration is shaping up. But there are also some stories on there that I think would be the sort of thing that you would find in any community newspaper. This site really reminds me of the MCDM’s favorite hyperlocal endeavor, The West Seattle Blog.
I know we’ve talked a lot about whether UGC can be classified as journalism – but what do you guys think?
Is Orting News journalism – or is The Seattle Times correct in its labeling?