Monday, June 12, 2006


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Welcome to the
The Rogers Park Review

The Rogers Park Review believes we all can benefit from an open forum where together we can discuss the complex and sometimes overwhelming issues facing our neighborhood. I hope this forum will encourage healthy debate, respectful dialogue and be a resource to keep you informed about current topics and events that happen in our neighborhood and that affect our neighborhood.

The Blog

The Rogers Park Review was originally created to share information to help create better-informed opinions about immediate and long term issues in Rogers Park;

*A place where neighbors can share their vision to help shape the longer-term policies that will impact this ward and neighboring wards in the future;

*A place where personality, personal history, and ideology will take a back seat to pragmatic discussion that takes all stakeholders into account;

*A place where we can learn from local, national and international thought leaders with expertise in areas relevant to our major concerns;

*A place where we can have access to and open exchange with those who aspire to leadership positions in the ward; and

*A place where we can celebrate people and places that make Rogers Park great and to provide perspective, awareness and encouragement.

These are still the goals of this forum and I’ve added a few more.

The News

So, what’s going on in Rogers Park?
I get asked that question all the time from friends and relatives who don’t live in our great neighborhood. I even get asked by people who do live here. So, what is happening in Rogers Park these days and how would you begin to find out?
Well, for starters you could check out the blogs, talk to your neighbors, tap into some websites and go to a community meeting or two or three if you have the time. Or you can pull up the Pioneer Press or Chi Town Daily News on the web for some Rogers Park coverage. Occasionally, the major papers and TV outlets come to our neighborhood but 9 times out of 10, it’s just the bad news they’re after; the headline grabbers. That seems to serve them pretty well but none of the majors seem to cover the good news, the positive things that are happening in our neighborhood to provide some perspective and maybe a little balance.

You could spend a few hours tapping into all the available resources in Rogers Park about Rogers Park that offer a glimpse of what’s going on in our neighborhood and still not have a comprehensive and accurate picture. And anyway, who has the time to do that everyday? If you have a career, maybe a family, partner, pets and bills to pay, how much time is left to stay informed about local issues after trying to stay current about Chicago, the state, the country and world events?
It takes time to be adequately informed, especially about a neighborhood like ours that is in transition. Rogers Park is not a sleepy little secret anymore.

This also happens to be an Aldermanic election year and the outcome of this election will probably determine the direction of our neighborhood for years to come. As voters, neighbors, business and property owners we need reliable information in order to make an informed decision on Election Day. With the Alderman seeking reelection, several aldermanic candidates already declaring and plenty of important and complex issues, we need to understand the issues, the candidates and what they envision for Rogers Park.

The NewsBlog

I’m fascinated with the prospect and promise of blogging and the impact this new horizontal, neighbor to neighbor communication medium is having on what we know, when we know it and who we know it from. Blogging has transformed the way information is distributed and altered the landscape of traditional journalism. What began as a few upstart blogs and bloggers who posted political commentary and were initially shunned by traditional journalists and their corporate newspapers, have now become so timely and influential, these blogs are very often sources now for those very same journalists. Here are a few links:
DailyKaos ...... AMERICAblog ....... The Huffington Post

In a few short years, the chasm that once existed between blogs and newspapers, between opinions and news and the accepted manner in which news has been distributed has blurred and morphed into what's being called "citizen journalism" or participitory journalism. Here is an article posted in PRESSTHINK by Jay Rosen to get you caught up on this trend. Here are a few more links from his blog:

Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over:
"Here is one advantage bloggers have in the struggle for reputation-- for the user's trust. They are closer to the transaction where trust gets built up on the Web. More...

Seeders of Clouds: Latest on Newspaper Blogging

Journalism Is Itself a Religion: The Net is opening things up, shifting the power to publish around. Consumers are becoming producers, readers can be writers." More...

News Turns from a Lecture to a Conversation: "Some of the pressure the blogs are putting on journalists shows up, then, in the demand for "news as conversation," more of a back-and-forth, less of a pronouncement. More...

Open Source Journalism, Or "My Readers Know More Than I Do.": "The Net is ideal for horizontal communication-- peer to peer, stranger to stranger, voter to voter, reader to reader. More...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Possibilities and Policies

OK, so how does this work?

The concept of "citizen journalism" is pretty simple. Let's use Rogers Park as an example. If you are active in your local school council and there are some issues or accomplishments you would like your neighbors to know about, write about it and I'll post it. If you and your neighbors belong to a block club and would like to link up with other block clubs in Rogers Park, write about it. If you attend a community meeting and would like to do a recap for those who couldn't attend, that would be great. If you have an organization, an opinion, a cause, or a fundraiser that needs a wider audience, I'll post it. If you have lots of opinions, consider becoming a columnist.

So essentially, "citizen journalism" is a grass roots style, neighbor informing neighbor method of keeping us all informed about what is happening in our neighborhood. I happen to believe that our neighborhoods' rich cultural diversity, creative talent, intellectual capital, involved neighbors and politically active and volunteer organizations are an untapped resource for "citizen journalists". Here are some links to get you started:

From the Online Journalism Review
Here's another fromthe Chi Town DailyNews: JournalismTutorial

Try not to be too concerned about your writing. Write your piece as though you were talking to a friend. No one is trying to win an award, we're just trying to keep each other informed. If there are some changes that need to be made, I'll contact you via your e mail address before I post. Please send your "citizen journalism" contribution to the:


The Rogers Park Review NewsBlog
The goals of this newsblog are to share information, ideas and opinions, provide accurate information of news and events in our neighborhood and have a little fun along the way.

I will be adding features and writing special reports occassionaly. These articles will be written as a "neutral observer" and they will be an attempt to provide an accurate and comprehensive report of the facts as I know them.
The Rogers Park Review will be updated on a daily basis with attributed material from all traditional and online sources regarding news and events outside Rogers Park that might affect Rogers Park. Other neighborhoods are struggling with similar issues as we are and my hope is that we can learn from how others are solving their problems and maybe put our issues in some perspective.

Your opinions, ideas and concerns are important and I ask that you tell your neighbors to participate in this new medium as a commenter or "citizen journalist." So consider this an invitation for new or long time neighbors to add your voice to this forum. If you have a point a view, we would all like to hear it. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Comment Policies

I happen to have some strong opinions on comment policies and how they either encourage participation and healthy debate or intimidate people from sharing their own ideas and opinions. I am committed to an open forum but I am equally committed to upholding a set of standards. Here are a few standards other blog administrators have adopted:

Buzzmachine's Rules of Engagement :
"Any email sent to me can be quoted on the blog. No personal attacks, hate speech, bigotry, or seven dirty words in the comments or comments will be killed along with commenters."

Eric Zorn's posted standard is:
"Comments are not posted immediately. We review them first in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, irrelevancies and unfair attacks. Thank you for your patience."

Eric Zorn utilizes comment moderator and also requires that commenters use their real name that can be verified with a long established e mail address. This standard is under consideration for this blog but for now, we'll work on the honor system.

The rules are simple:
No personal attacks and that includes name calling, no hate speech or bigotry, no rumours, no commercial messages and no foul language. Do it once, your comment will be removed and you are done commenting on this blog. I won't hunt you down but I will block your ISP address.

Gary Fuschi