Local News

Downtown New Albany (From my Drone)
Waltz for Debbie / Metropole Orchestra / Bobby Shew (From an original Bill Evans composition)

Local News for New Albany?

John Fraim

(Editor’s Note: The below was posted to my NextDoor site on Wednesday night, March 2, 2022. With above music playing from the library of my MacBook Pro.)

I was invited to participate in a national webinar on NextDoor by their Head of Product Development but unfortunately put down the wrong time of its PST time and missed it. However, highlights of this will be sent to me next week and I’ll post to our local Nextdoor.

I’ve been on NextDoor for maybe five years now. Close to 2015 when we moved back here from Palm Desert, California. Many posts about local things as I know many have seen. 

On 60 Minutes last Sunday, there was a whole segment devoted to the disappearing newspapers and their reporting of local news. We all remember hometown newspapers and the local news they reported. But the local newspaper industry, as well as the local radio industry, has gone the way of merger and consolidation into larger and larger corporations.

These large media corporations see news and profits from mass producing national news rather than a segmented production of news into many different pieces. Then, sending their mass-produced news to their communication networks in non-local, mass form. 

Breaking news into local segments is not their job. Their job is to mass produce a national, non-local news. 

* * *

So many look for the answer by placing all of this on one political side or the other. Yet it is not a political issue easily assigned to a particular political party. It is not a battle between leftest and conservative news channels. Or, any battle associated with politics. 

It comes down to what is the increasing need for local news. It is as simple (or complex) as this it seems to me. You can call it politics but I don’t. It is more of the need for a new medium of communication. Communication about a place and time. Rather than mass national communication medium.

Especially, here in New Albany, Ohio which is the city getting the new Intel plant as you know. The site of the facility is just a mile from downtown New Albany as many of you know. They have planned a $20 chip facility, the state in the world. Yesterday, news came out that they would invest $100 billion in the facility if the Chips Act would pass Congress. The act gives $60 billion in incentives to chip manufacturers. Biden asked Congress to pass it.

It’s important for all communities to communicate through local media like NextDoor. For the years I’ve been participating in it here in New Albany (often through my website Midnight Oil Studios, over 470 blogs since 2016 … https://midnightoilstudios.org). Many with local themes and many posted on NextDoor. Thanks to all of you out there who have made comments on my initial posts to NextDoor. I appreciate it very much. 

The First Local Newspaper in America

(Above the September 25, 1690, colonial newspaper Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick. Published in Boston. My Jazz Newsletter I published in the Bay Area looks a lot like it.)

In this discussion about a movement to local new, I think it ranks highest in a place like New Albany which will undergo the greatest growth and change of probably any small town in the nation. 

Will there be a good source of local communication as New Albany grows as it becomes a world center for the manufacture of the “engines” that power the entire digital age?

Establishing this form of local news channel in a place like New Albany, Ohio might be a key communication form in growing the first great town in the nation centered around the best system for local communication. Here in New Albany, I can even segment my list sent out from national to just my direct neighbors. And, nearby neighborhoods. Never entire cities like Columbus to my knowledge. 

A great idea and interested to hear what NextDoor’s head of Product Development said in that webinar I missed. 

* * *

Been great posting in the past few years to such a responsive local community here in New Albany. All brought together over NextDoor. Should NextDoor evolve to be this modern version of local news so needed today? Is it doing just fine right now? It is interesting to hear what was discussed on the webinar I missed. 

Will let all know. Good to hear from the usual group about this idea of NextDoor and development of a local news source where citizens can record and communicate the key things of their lives and those of neighbors rather than be flooded by the images of others far away. In that independent nation. Or a collective global world.

Independent local news? Or mass-produced news?

Over An Evening Neighborhood in New Albany, Ohio (Drone shot by me)

Everyone in the homes above are connected up to one national media narrative. A national news transfusion life line many are hooked up to.

But what if people were instead connected to local media?

How different would the world be and one’s life experience in this local world.

Local media creates a new type of medium at odds with the medium narrrative of national media, The so-called main stream media of today that supports the government narrative news of the world.

But local media viewed as within a new medium altogether (like water surrounding fish) like the new sign of the water carrier in the sign of Aquarius. Carrying the old, outgoing sign of Pisces. Carrying out a fish in water? Being able to carry context of life? In other words, see the context of life rather than just its content. A new era of understanding the context of our lives (rather than being distracted by all of its inviting distractions) is upon us. A new surrounding media for our lives. Invisible yet all pervasive. Water around a fish. Although we’re not sure who discovered water we’re sure it wasn’t a fish. Attributed to McLuhan.

In the forefront of establishing not only a local media but really an enveloping local medium. The heros and heroines of many young people today can be up close and personal and local. Can be a real experience for them rather than the media experience created and broadcast to them.

Is this the type of story you want to view as as series. Binge watch on Netflix?

Or, is it something my neighbors in New Akbany might be interested in participating in the creation of local media in New Albany.

Together. As a real community.

Like those neighbors we used to know so well. Like family.

In many ways, it was the power of locality that was a major factor in making America great.

Power has always been a question of the battle between local and national. Or, individual versus collective.

The blending of those two paradoxical founding symbols of the nation in Equality and Freedom, Denmocrats and Republican, Feminine and Masculine.

Many interesting dynamics going on.

The collective rules the day in national media.

* * *

Might the individual segment create a new stand against the collective and global?

A new perspective on life from this type of media? A new profit model in the individual versus the collective.

Might there be a return to the original sharing nature of the Internet. It’s first nature of interactive two-way communication rather than today’s one one broadcast communication. As McLuhan might observe, cool, two-way, participatory communication or hot, one-way broadcast communication. One way broadcast communication was the communication for most of the 20th century. But digital computer technology has brought about truly new mediums and forms of interactive, communication. Communication involving participation from at least two or more perspectives or sides.

Might it ever be brought back? Should it be brought back? Who will bring it back in our current world?

In New Albany?

One thought on “Local News

  1. John, much to ruminate on, literally chew on, slowly, thoughtfully, carefully. Intrigued by local/intensely personal v global/impersonal. Perhaps could be viewed also as share/persuade v control/manipulate. More later, but you are definitely on to something. BTW, miss you here in Palm Desert, and yet, technology keeps you near, if not geographically, definitely spiritually (in spirit–as in the spirit of authenticity and open-mindedness).

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