: Finally catching up with email and read a neat notion from Jay Rosen. He noted that Josh Marshall was getting his readers to call their representatives to see whether they had voted for the DeLay Rule since (a) the votes weren’t recorded and (b) the reps would be more likely to level with voters than with reporters. “Great example of blogging doing journalism one better,” says Jay. Right. It’s distributed reporting: The people do the digging.
I can imagine a score of stories where this would work: You ask your readers to call their congressmen to find out a stance and put together a chart (a wiki would work better for this than blog comments, by the way). You have your fellow bloggers each tell you whether the newspapers and TV and radio stations in their town covered a story you think is important and even have them all call the papers’ editors to ask why not. I think a lot of our open-space tax dollars are wasted on space nobody’d want anyway, so I could ask people to take pictures of stupid open space purchases near them. But it’s not restricted to bloggers alone: A smart reporter could start a blog and ask readers what’s happening in the communities they cover.