… we have a vested interest in blogging.. or what we’re calling in this case Citizen’s Media. On the ground reporting from folks that don’t have a mainstream media connection will produce what I hope to be some raw and challenging footage and thoughts that will show us what the current state of affairs in New Orleans really is.
My initial reaction and reply in the comments section of the above post was, “Hmmm … I wonder what we NOLA bloggers have been doing over the past year. I’ve been schooled. Guess we should just shut down our blogs. Then again, outsider perspective that is not MSM is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it’s great. New Orleans needs all the attention it can get, nationally and abroad. You may want to give props to local bloggers who have been writing on this city tirelessly (without pay) since Katrina and the flood. You know, in the interest of shiny, happy synergy and all.”
Following that, I went about my business – if Blog Herald wants to come down here and talk about us, big deal. What’s the worst that can happen but more press for this city? Besides, if the NOLA bloggers make too big a case of it, we’ll be portrayed as being on the defensive and attention will not be called out to our labor as a surprisingly tight-knit community, one of the great things to come out of Katrina and the flood.
I hope that once the Blog Herald folks really do their research and really engage with the people down here that some great things might happen. But first thing out the window has got to be the missionary approach (Ray)
We are fatigued from round after round of academic surveys and self-appointed reporters … This is an attention economy. If you want to help, you can communicate with locals, read our local media, read our blogs, leave comments in our blogs and link to us. You can read what we are writing and convey that to your readers, you can link to us, as we’ve linked to you and commented, many of us grudgingly polite, although you’ve insulted us. (Alan)
It was through Alan’s words that I understood what really bothers me about the Blog Herald weekend contingent.
The difference between real citizen’s media and mainstream media is not just producing raw and challenging footage, but DOING something about it, taking part in it, making it yours and then talking about it loudly and clearly because it deserves to be heard.
The Citizen’s Media of New Orleans has no use for the periodicity of the news cycle when we have a city to save along with the help of people who live here or have moved here to push with us.
The Citizen’s Media of New Orleans is tired of “news teams” coming to this city to report on what we have been LIVING, REPORTING and INVESTIGATING since days before the storm, while implying that we’re not doing it.
The real STORY here is that We Are Not Ok. Today’s nola.com boasts that 82% of the nation realizes this and will keep us in their minds, but that’s not what New Orleans needs.
If you want to come here and help, get your hands dirty, gut houses, walk around in the sweltering heat and identify blighted housing, fight for affordable utilities and housing, take clothes and food to the heat-struck and frustrated, attend neighborhood and planning meetings, cry in frustration that this is happening to your city and smile at the little advances, plead EVERYDAY to the nation to HELP New Orleans and not just keep it in your thoughts and prayers, then you are welcome.
This is the news. This is the truth. Write about it.