AUDIO: Laid-off Kenosha, Wis., reporter seeks advice on starting non-profit online news community

 Denise Lockwood is like thousands of U.S. daily newspaper reporters -- she fell victim to staff reductions. But she's not giving up reporting -- she's pursuing her passion online.

Lockwood, an award-winning education and general-assignment reporter, is looking for advice on how to start a non-profit online news and community site for southeastern Wisconsin. She wants to focus on providing the context and background that dailies are being forced by economics to abandon.

One idea Lockwood is pursuing -- what do we mean by "participatory democracy?" She worries that it isn't enough to just vote anymore, that citizens "need to show up" at public meetings.

To learn more about her plans, listen to a 16-minute interview with Bill Densmore of the Media Giraffe Project and Matt Thompson, a 2008-2009 Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow. You can listen to the audio stream by clicking on the carat to the right of the bar below, or download an MP3 podcast for offline listening.  (15:26 mins., 3.7MB)  There's also text of parts of the inteview.

CONTACT: Denise Lockwood, Racine, Wis., / Phone:  262-639-6475.


one dozen ideas to get you started.

If i were starting an online news site and it was a one person show, AND I was doing it to earn a living

1. start a wordpress blog and host it yourself on dreamhost or webfaction or similar. (~$100year)
2. target one thing and make it your entire focus.
3. do lots of interviews and original content
4. DO NOT offer things people get on regular news sites like Weather and AP news stories
5. get a google adsense account right away and learn how to use it.
6. multimedia is the future, blogs are a dime a dozen. learn how to shoot and upload video, podcasts & audiocasts, and pictures.
7. Join your local chamber of commerce to mine them for stories
8. aggregate rss feeds into a reader so you can quickly see what's happening in your world at any time.
9. Get a feedburner account so others can easily subscribe to your blog.
10. Get a Delicious account so you can bookmark great things you find on the web
11. Get social ranking site accounts so you can broadcast your self through multiple channels.
12. DONT publish junk links and spam comments. Your credibility will plummet.

There's lots more, email me if you have questions. and visit my newspaper industry site
Robert Ivan
Founder and Senior Writer