To Robert Davison: Be the media

Off the bike…

Interesting letter to the editor in this morning’s Gazette / yesterday’s online Gazette.

Robert Davison of Cedar Rapids says the newspaper needs a columnist who will be a “biased promoter” of Cedar Rapids.

Not that anyone asked me, but I couldn’t disagree more.

For one thing, such a columnist/promoter would not be taken very seriously as a journalist. The newspaper might as well devote a column to be authored on occasion by the head of the Chamber of Commerce, local economic development groups, maybe the mayor and various business owners and non-profit causes. (Now that I mention it, I seem to remember seeing guest columns by some of these characters. They even let me do one about bicycling last summer.)

I’d say this to Mr. Davison, pretty much as I said to cyclists who bemoan the lack of bicycling stories in the local media:

If you want someone to champion Cedar Rapids, find something good to say and say it. Get your friends and neighbors to say it.

You may not quite understand this yet, but you are part of the media.

  • You and others have your say occasionally on the Gazette’s opinion page and letters and comments in other media.
  • You are free to write your own blog, to be your own columnist and promote Cedar Rapids as much as you want, whenever you want. You might get people to read your column and help you spread the good news. You might not.
  • You can publish information about Cedar Rapids in various social media for all the world to see.

I even started a blog for folks who want to share nice stories about what’s going on in their communities. It’s called Iowa Nice. No, it’s not just about Cedar Rapids, so some other places get mentioned.

It’s about whatever contributors want it to be as long as it’s related to the overall theme of Iowa people being Iowans, about favorite Iowa places (physical, digital or otherwise).

You’re not confined to the Gazette’s opinion page any more.

Be the media.

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1 Response to “To Robert Davison: Be the media”

  1. 1 You can do great journalism anywhere « Jason Kristufek’s We Media blog Trackback on April 19, 2009 at 10:16 am
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