I must say, it feels weird to be writing my first blog entry since August. But I have had good reason to be delinquent in blogging. Really.
- First, I’ve been pretty busy adding writing credits to my clip file. I feel fortunate to be keeping busy with freelance work.
- In September my husband and I moved to a new apartment after the lease on our house ran out.
- And the main reason this blog has been dormant: Shortly after the move our laptop had an unfortunate accident. Which means the two of us were sharing one desktop computer. I write for a living. He’s a computer geek. So having one computer for the two of us was, I imagine, worse than four teenage girls being allotted a single bathroom. About a week ago we had much cause for celebration thanks to two boxes that arrived via FedEx. One held a new laptop. The other, two smartphones we both remain infatuated with.
OK, now that’s out of the way.
My last entry was about an experimental news Web site in the planning stages at Berks Community Television in Reading, Pa., down the street from the newspaper that used to give me a regular paycheck.
The revamped BCTV.org launched Dec. 1 and I think it’s worth a look from everyone in Berks County, Pa., and anyone interested in the future of journalism.
BCTV.org is full of in-depth stories on issues that affect what local marketers like to call Greater Reading. It’s pretty remarkable for an experimental product put together almost entirely by freelancers with various levels of journalistic experience.
Not that I’m biased or anything.
When the site launched I had the top story, which was about the decline of recess in Berks and nationwide. My other story details statewide efforts to set up a single phone number to connect people to social services.
Some of the other reports on BCTV.org:
- Reading and other small Pennsylvania cities have a host of financial troubles, but state legislators don’t put much effort into helping them.
- Raw milk is growing in popularity among those who think it’s healthier than the pasteurized variety.
- The effectiveness of a study on the Reading area’s economic future isn’t clear, four years after it was completed.
- Doing your own electrical work could be a fire hazard.
BCTV joins the ranks of experimental local news sites near my hometown and my new apartment, along with similar ventures nationwide. Since Berks County was my base for four years and the source of my first real job in journalism, I’m especially pulling for its success.
I don’t see many comments on the stories on BCTV.org, which tells me it’s not getting much traffic yet. I’m sure that’s because it’s a new news source that a lot of people haven’t heard about yet, but I hope that changes soon. Quality journalism can’t flourish if no one knows where to look for it.