It was good news for wonks when Dave Cournoyer came home from Australia and leapt back into blogging on the suddenly interesting Alberta political scene. Last week alone saw five posts, including a look at the Conservative leadership contenders, the matter of who to blame for teacher layoffs, and the Alberta Liberals’ recent changes.
Dave is an exemplar of the “transparency is the new objectivity” tenet of new media. He is a sought-after and respected commentator on Alberta politics, and justifiably so. He is also an active member of the Alberta Party. I confess the journalist in me wants him to choose: pundit or politico? Can he be a trusted observer of politics when he has clearly chosen sides? Then I hear Jay Rosen’s voice in my head, castigating the “view from nowhere” that has crippled political journalism in North America. I know where Dave’s coming from. I also know he pays close attention to politics and has for a long time, from within and without. So I trust him. That’s all any of us can hope for.
Some other bits I noticed on the local new media front:
– Inspirational firecracker Donloree Hoffman applies the same discipline to blogging as she does to exercise on her Bikini or Bust blog (subtitled Adventures of a Fat Girl Turned Figure Competitor). Daily posts, rain or shine! Now she wants to know what you want to know about her.
– West Edmonton Local, the news site run out of Grant MacEwan University’s journalism program, is also seeking readers’ input. The site covers the west end well and is a wonderful training ground for smart young newsies. It was founded by Archie McLean and built by Lucas Timmons, two former colleagues of mine at The Journal.
– I was intrigued to find Edmonton is one of only three Canadian cities with a presence on Neighborhoodr, the Tumblr-based blog network “where anyone can quickly and easily post about what’s happening in their neighborhood without having to log in or register.” Edmonton has only one local editor so far, and as small as Edmonton feels in social-media-land, it isn’t really a neighbourhood. Edmonton Etcetera is a better aggregation of Edmonton stuff, but I wonder if Neighborhoodr could be useful at the community league level. Here’s more about its intentions.
– Speaking of “citizen journalism” experiments (yes, I hate the term too), I see at least one Edmonton contribution to meporter.com, an iPhone app that launched last month at TechCrunch Disrupt. It makes it easy to publish breaking news as it happens and may become a conduit between person on the scene and mainstream media newsroom, if it reaches critical mass. This contribution from Michael Christensen (@Michael_Anders on Twitter) is a nice picture of U2 at Commonwealth Stadium. It will be interesting to see if people put full stories into it.
– If you’re a fan of found art, you should check out foundmonton, another cool Edmonton Tumblr.
– The Unknown Studio celebrated its 50th podcast with excerpts from every episode thus far.
The podcast has audibly improved over the two seasons of its existence. The guest list is wonderfully eclectic. The only thing everyone has in common is Edmonton.
(Listening to the excerpt from my appearance on the show, I found myself agreeing with my past self, even though I no longer work at The Journal: There’s plenty of room for great work at the local level, regardless of what’s going on with head office, and it’s vital to persevere.)
If you want to learn more about podcasting, come hear The Unknown Studio’s Adam Rozenhart speak at the Social Media Breakfast on June 24.
– Brittney Le Blanc blogged entertainingly about being intimidated by farmers’ markets. I feel her pain. It is for this same reason I have yet to blog about Edmonton’s vibrant food blogging scene – it’s not my world, but I can see from here that it’s awesome, and I will dive in one of these days.
That’s all for now. Thanks for all of the nice comments so far on previous new media roundups, and do let me know what I’m missing.