You might notice an RSS feed on the right column of The Mill that’s pulling in stories from something called the Carrboro Commons. The Commons is the work of once of the most innovative bunch of students I’ve run across in some time. Their professor, Jock Lauterer, is a longtime community journalist who grew up in Chapel Hill. He delivered newspapers for Jim Shumaker at the Chapel Hill Weekly when he was a kid and had the added benefit of a grandfather who was in charge of Wilson Library.
Jock and his students got revved up about the idea of a newspaper for Carrboro and managed in one semester to launch something that I hope will be around for a good long while. The Commons has news and features and photos and, if they want to hear me stop yapping to ’em about it, audio.
Here’s an excerpt from Jock’s letter to Carrboro:
As to the â€œwhat,â€ the Carrboro Commons will be a bi-weekly, interactive â€œe-zineâ€ or Web newspaper, a â€œlab newspaper,â€ if you will, (meaning that this news and information site is an experiential learning project and an integral part of the required classwork for JOMC 459 Community Journalism.) What you are looking at today is our prototype edition â€” the result of a flash of inspiration in class earlier this fall, days of brainstorming, many sleepless nights, more of what the Buddhists call â€œauspicious coincidences,â€ and a nearly vertical learning curve for all of us â€” plus a lot just plain old-fashioned journalism shoe-leather.
Here’s a couple of stories they did to get you started: