This morning we discovered a new blog, the Cecil Observer, serving readers in the county. Our first reaction is that this is a great product that will serve a market niche for those interested in keener perspectives on the local scene. To start with it is attractive, but in addition it contains insightful original reading matter pertaining to our county. As we’ve said so many times before it is largely about the content for successful media will provide quality reading matter for its audience. The founding editor/publisher, David Healey, is a professional editor with a track record in journalism and creative writing so we’re sure we’ll see a lot more come out of the Observer as it gets underway.
In 2008, we were pleased to see the county generate a bountiful crop of blogs, joining a couple of active old hand in bringing home valued local copy to area readers. Having a cluster of independent writers covering the area provides people with a greater depth of community journalism, as this new media covers local news and events, especially the subjects that aren’t noticed by our legacy media outlets.
It all reminds us of old newspaper days (not all that long ago) when we’d rush to get our weekly paper, the Cecil Whig, crammed with local content, the type of material we couldn’t wait to read. Those old editors, who did some fine work, were anxious to dig into an issue and stir things up a little (just a little) in order to maintain subscriber interest. Plus they’d produce quality local features. Publishers in that era were fine with such indepth reporting. Gosh that must’ve been good for businesses since careful scrutiny of the pages assured you’d glance at all those advertisements.
As we approach the end of the first decade of the 21th century, bloggers are filling the void at the top of the Chesapeake. Interestingly this sprouting of these latest products seems to be clustered around Chesapeake City and the southern part of the county. That sort of makes Someone Noticed lonely in the county seat, Cecil’s biggest town with 14,000 people, thinking about how a place with 700-residents generates enough news, controversy and dialogue to support three or four resident bloggers. We sure could use another weblog or two helping bring out the “411 on Elkton” since there is so much important material not getting ink in our daily paper.
By-the-way, this Cecil County news portal concept sounds like a successful business model to us, now that we’re getting so much free reading matter online. Provide a place to find citizen journalism, local news and events that aren’t being covered elsewhere, and couple that with an attractive news portal that has professionally crafted articles, and you’re on to something. Of course, the financial barriers for entry into this virtual journalism world have been so greatly reduced since you don’t need the printing press anymore. We think the Observer is headed in the right direction. We’re going to bookmark it on our site and add and RSS feed so we can check in often for local news that isn’t available elsewhere from legacy Media.
We hope to see more new media sites in the future since there is a need for someone to covering local happenings.