Chicago Tribune Rolls Out ‘Hyperlocal’ Web Site

The Chicago Tribune is rolling out a pro-am website focusing on community level reporting and analysis.

Taking a tentative step into a brave new world of community-generated journalism, the Chicago Tribune will launch a Web site Thursday designed to allow readers in the far western and southern suburbs to post their own stories, write blogs and otherwise become what the newspaper company is calling “citizen contributors.”

Triblocal.com will have a staff of four journalists charged with drumming up stories in an initial target area of nine towns. But the site, which will be largely unedited and self-policing, is designed to let citizens and organizations publish their own stories and post everything from high school team photos to favorite restaurant menus.

“You’ll work side by side with Triblocal.com’s editorial staff to produce coverage of your community,” the site’s home page says. “Get involved!”

Triblocal will start with one site that has a home page for each community: Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Elburn and Maple Park in the west; Tinley Park, Orland Park, Orland Hills and Homer Glen in the south.

It’s an interesting idea. We’ll see if the Trib can live with the messiness and lack of top-level control that such a format will bring.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    It’s an interesting idea. We’ll see if the Trib can live with the messiness and lack of top-level control that such a format will bring.

    It sounds more like a way to cut costs. The paper has laid off scores of reporters and newsroom staff over the past couple of years.

    Im wondering how the impending sale of the Tribune company is related to this initiative.