Friday, June 5, 2009

Find a global village, find myself a global village to live in

Rural ICT Center NenaSala by jaliyaj used under a Creative Commons License

I have lived in suburbs all my life, but I did have one set of relatives who lived in a small town which was, at the time, out in the middle of nowhere. (Since then, a freeway has been built within a few miles of the town.) Back in the 1960s and 1970s when I went there, the newspaper of record was a local county paper. But they had cable.

I thought back to this 1970s situation when I read Steven Hodson's Inquisitr piece. He notes, rightly, that we're paying so much attention to the big metropolitan papers that are in trouble that we're missing the story of the small papers that are in trouble.

When it comes to the news lifeblood of small town America not much attention is paid to when those town’s newspapers are forced to close their doors. As we rant and rave about the importance of journalism it is the small towns that feel the loss of their eyes and ears of what is happening locally.

Yet it's not as if the loss of a small-town paper cuts the residents completely off from any communication. In the same way that cable came out to the rural areas in the 1970s, Internet access is rolling out to the rural areas today. As websites and online content become geographically aware, it's possible for me to find online sources of information that pertain to Ontario, California. In the same way, people in small towns or rural areas can find sources of information that pertain to their areas. Maybe there aren't a million personal content providers in these areas, but it's still possible to get some information.

And for those of you in Clarke County, Virginia, there's always the blogs of the Clarke County Republicans and Democrats, and I'm sure they'll tell you something...
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