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Isn’t It Nice When Folks at Harvard Praise Your Idea?

February 12th, 2009 by Leonard Witt

The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University takes a look at our Locally Grown project in Northfield, Minnesota and likes what it sees. Here is a snippet of what Mathew Ingram writes:

This is a fascinating effort, I think. Since the idea is that these local news operations will be “crowdsourced” or community-financed, in many ways it reminds me of, the “crowd-funded” journalism effort from David Cohn — and in fact, the two are sharing ideas and sit on each other’s advisory boards (Bill Densmore of the Media Giraffe Project and Lisa Williams of Placeblogger are also on the Representative Journalism advisory board). It’s not clear whether RepJ or are viable long-term models for journalism, but there’s no question they are both interesting experiments. The Locally Grown Northfield project in particular seems like a thriving model for a local, community-driven news operation — and one that is worth keeping an eye on.

Here is why I like our Locally Grown trial: almost everyday someone on the project tries something just a little different, adds another idea. It is not static and each idea seems to bring us a little closer to the goal of figuring out how to get the community more involved and to help fund journalism.

Representative Journalism Highlighted in News Around World

December 28th, 2008 by Leonard Witt

Representative Journalism has been getting international attention in the last couple of weeks, including the following articles in the USA, the United Kingdom and Spain. Reading the articles provides a good summary of what we are doing and where we are heading.

Online Journalism: Donations Accepted
Join the niche movement
Can Crowdfunding Help Save the Journalism Business?
Se buscan [...]

Harnisch Foundation Gives $250,000 to Advance Rep J

December 18th, 2008 by Leonard Witt

I am very pleased to announce that this morning the Harnisch Foundation provided a $250,000 gift to Kennesaw State University to help advance my Representative Journalism concept.
Bill and Ruth Ann Harnisch awarded the check in New York this morning. The university will be putting out a formal press release, but I don’t want to get [...]

Carleton Students Interview Our Representative Journalist

December 15th, 2008 by Leonard Witt

Doug McGill’s journalism class at Carleton College produced a video about our Representative Journalism project at the Locally Grown blog in Northfield, Minnesota. Rep J reporter Bonnie Obremski and Locally Grown blogger Griff Wigley are highlighted.
McGill’s students have been posting an impressive series of local journalism stories and posting them at Locally Grown. Their [...]

Obremski Video Helps Explain Representative Journalism

December 11th, 2008 by Leonard Witt

In the video below Bonnie Obremski talks about her role as resident Representative Journalist at the Locally Grown blog in Northfield, Minnesota. Bill Densmore, who has been an advisor to the Rep J project, also answers some of the questions asked at the recent Information Valet summit at the University of Missouri.
Mizzou “Lunchstorm” discussion [...]


About RJ

  • Your host

    Leonard Witt

    Leonard Witt is the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and the chief blogger at

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  • Advisory Board

  • What I'm thinking about

  • A Definition

    Representative Journalism, a term coined by Leonard Witt, aims to build sustainable journalism one small group at a time.

    Read More Here ›

  • Your Role

    Leonard Witt has been developing the Representative Journalism idea behind the scenes for several months. Now he is going public. You can help develop the concept into a workable model or models for mainstream media, small operations, start-ups or individual endeavors.

    Join this online think-tank either ad hoc or sign up in the box that says "Join this Community." Let's make postive change together.