In Scranton, Pa., a laid-off journalist tracks local online news communities; is it time for ASNCF?

When Jessica Durkin was laid off as a reporter from the Scranton, Pa., she lost no time taking on a new passion. A regional director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, she is now tracking the emerging news ecology from her website http://inothernews.us.

 
The site is quickly building a compendium of reference information about U.S. local online news communities, tracked by state. “I became interested in new media, community journalism, and web publishing, specifically, the populist opportunities that exist for information dissemination,” says Durkin. “I am interested in where the journalism industry is headed.” She also plans to enroll in the University of Pittsburgh's Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program.
 
Durkin’s site complements the work of The Media Giraffe Project in tracking local online news communities through a searchable database.   The website Placeblogger.com, developed by Lisa Williams, also tracks place-based blogs of all stripes, not just news sites. And the citizen-journalism social work “NewsMeBack” has a page of linked images of hyperlocal sites.
 
Durkin says she has given some thought to forming some sort of trade group or society for entrepreneurs (profit and non-profit) who are running or launching local online news communities.
 
 (FULL DISCLOSURE: The author of this post has proposed creation of an American Society of News and Community Forums – ASNCF, and discussed the idea in 2008 with Patrick Phillips of TheVineyardVoice.org  . . . Is it time?