SPRING FORWARD | Become a Member of the Rockport Ensemble

The Rockport Observer is a community media initiative designed to make use of the latest technology - via the Web site, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed - to create a dynamic interactive platform for the Fairview Park and Rocky River community. It's a virtual podium, front porch, and bulletin board open to all for the purposes of enhanced civic engagement and engaging neighborhood conversation.

The philosophy of and the mission propelling The Rockport Observer is to create a synthesized media experience that serves as a forum for:

  • Neighborhood news, views, and chit-chat
  • Intensive-local coverage of programs, initiatives, and events
  • Civic organizations and resident writers to have their events promoted and covered
  • Discussion on local topics and issues such as school levies and local legislation
  • Neighborhood profiles of local legends, charitable groups, and community all-stars

And, perhaps most important, one of the primary goals of the Rockport Observer is to get young people involved at the elementary-, middle- and high-school levels, giving up-and-comers a chance to write for a professional media site, providing them an academic edge with a portfolio piece to include with their college applications. The Rockport Observer can serve as a platform and podium for Fairview Park and Rocky River students to launch and showcase their own rising and developing voices as they cover their schools and write about their classmates, teammates, teachers, and coaches, developing their individual and collective styles.

THE ROCKPORT OBSERVER is written by members of the Fairview Park and Rocky River community who generously provide their time, energy, expertise, and eloquence to making it a dynamic site experience. What makes this experience unique is that it is a true community effort – written and produced by local citizens for the benefit of their neighbors and the community as a whole.

Stories are posted generally on a first-come, first-reserved basis (with precedence given to time-sensitive pieces). The Observer is open to ALL members of our community - anyone who has ever lived, worked, stayed, or played in Rocky River or Fairview Park - and anyone who wishes to write about almost whatever is welcome to participate.

There are no commitments! You can write as many or as few articles (or as none) as you please. You can write one article and never write again. Or you may choose to write a follow-up to a previous article, a series of articles on one topic or an article about a different subject every day, every week, every whatever. It’s up to you. Write about what interests you.

Don’t care to write? Then take some photos!
Upload the JPegs to our Web site, build a gallery for viewing, and select one or two for submission to appear in print. Also, take a half-dozen to a dozen and become a part of the rotating gallery.

Let’s create something that we can all look forward to reading, something we can call our own.

Also, follow us on Twitter; friend us on Facebook.

Link up with us on your Twitter account and feed us the latest of what's going on: What bands are playing in the neighborhood? What groups are convening? What specials are happening at your restaurant or business? Also, Like us on Facebook and let's create a little virtual Rockport community. What's going on in your neck of the woods? Link up and let us know.

Anyway, there it is. Low-hassle. Low-maintenance. And hopefully high yield. Write a story - Take a photo - Create a video. Upload - Send it in. Distribute it via your Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Citizen journalism is an increasing global phenomenon that is manifesting at the local level in neighborhoods throughout the world. From various citizen uprisings to the various local movements, it is often the individuals experiencing events on the ground, in the neighborhoods, who are responding to them and who are providing coverage, perspectives, and voices while often also shaping events and, ultimately, history.

This is how it starts.

To become a member, click here.

Matthew K. Weiland

Matthew K. Weiland is the founding editor of the Rockport Observer

Read More on Opinion
Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 8:58 PM, 04.28.2013