Hey guys. Check out Justin Carder of capitolhillseattle.com. His blog is a really unique way to approach local news. Yes, he did post his own press pass online.
I originally met Justin in Seattle last October while on a media tour with a group of students. His unique approach at covering local news in high detail but low quantity on a blog intrigued me, so I contacted him last week to discuss more about his non-traditional approach to journalism.
Justin runs the Capitol Hill Seattle blog, which is a hyperlocal Seattle blog focused on only one section of the city. He and his staff of freelancers cover anything and everything happening within their neighborhood — everything from breaking news to social events to interesting topics that relate to the residents. This hyperlocal blogging technique is interesting because it is an effective way to truly engage the audience in a way that more traditional local stations and other journalism outlets have not yet achieved. According to Justin, he provides content for the site along with a few paid freelance reporters. They are known even by local news outlets like The Seattle Times for covering breaking news in their area in a way that other outlets couldn’t because the local focus of the blog allows for a faster response time than a larger organization could have.
In addition to hard news, members of the community can submit their own stories to the blog to the “All Posts” page. According to Justin’s rules for the blog, anyone can post on the “All Posts” page, and then the best stories are vetted and moved to the homepage. This keeps content constant and fresh.
Overall, I think Justin is on to something interesting that more traditional outlets like KOMU, who are looking for non-traditional ways to reach people, could study. Justin has a close relationship with the members of his neighborhood, partially because his audience is much smaller than any traditional media outlet. But because of that relationship, members of the community go directly to him with information.