The new concept of “hyperlocal news” has led to various attempts at websites which focus solely on the news closest to its readers. Now the new website Openfile is changing the format of local journalism in Canada.
Openfile works in three steps: first, contributors can “open a file,” or add a story idea. Next, a trained journalist working for the site is assigned to the story. Then, users can comment and add to the final story submitted on the site.
The site, founded by former CNN correspondent Wilf Dinnick, is one of various new medias used in what some are calling “networked journalism.” Dinnick says his reporters are not bloggers, nor are they traditional journalists. Instead, they are a combination of both the reporters and the audience, and together they create “an ongoing, living story.”
Openfile is not the first attempt at this new local journalism. CNN has its own brand of “citizen journalism” through its site iReport. Other sites like Topix and Patch have been attempting to make this type of news work on a large scale in the U.S. However, Dinnick says Openfile’s approach is more effective.
This promotional video and others can be found on YouTube.
Is this type of local journalism effective? Why or why not? What do we need to make this kind of journalism work in the United States?