Let’s try covering breaking news collectively

19 January 2009

Three to 5 inches of snow is predicted for Chapel Hill on Tuesday — exciting because of how rare snow here is and because it’s a chance to try some collaborative journalism. 

Inspired by the recent efforts in Washington state following flooding, I’m really interested to see what Chapel Hill’s online community of journalists and residents can do. In situations like this, where news organizations have a public service responsibility, it makes no sense not to do as Ryan Thornburg suggests: “Collaborate on commodity and breaking news; Compete and crowdsource on analytical and accountability journalism.”

I plan on Tweeting (@saragregory), uploading photos to Flickr and saving other weather-related articles to Publish2. I’m going to use a #CH-snow hashtag for it all. If you’re in Chapel Hill/Orange County, I invite you to do the same and see what we can come up with collectively.

And of course, it’s quite possible — it being the South, after all — that nothing will happen, and grocery stores will sell out of milk and bread for no reason.