By 1812Blockhouse

Here’s another post in our short series that we’re calling “Under the Hood.”

Last week, we started with a look at our Richland News section on 1812Blockhouse. Specifically, we shared the process of how we select media posts to link to each morning.

We continue today with a look at why Richland News is a part of this site, and why we believe that this part of what makes us unique also makes us an invaluable resource for Richland Countians.

As we do so, we’re going to name drop by referring to, of all people, Santa Claus.

There’s a thing in the news business called “curation.”

Curation refers to “linking out,” that is, including on our site links to posts from other publications that cover stories about Richland County and Richland Countians.

Now why, you might ask, would we use our space to send our readers to other sites? Because that practice is consistent with good, responsible, and reader-focused journalism. That’s why in a nutshell.

When 1812Blockhouse began, we followed a model advanced by a pacesetting news site called Billy Penn, which covers Philadelphia. Billy Penn and its owner, Jim Brady, routinely included links to the best writing from other local news sites. This was done to provide readers with a location online when they can become as informed as possible about local matters.

As Brady has shared, “Every day in every market in this country multiple news organizations are putting out stuff which is interesting to the audience and if you’re not willing to share it with them, then shame on you.”

Let’s look at this using a local lens. Each day, WMFD, Richland Source, the Mansfield News Journal, the Shelby Daily Globe, and other Richland County publications share important stories. Importantly, not only do they share different stories, but they cover the same events and developments differently based on the talents of each newsroom.

So instead of having to check out each site daily, or having to hope that the story that you would find really important and interesting just happens to pass through your Facebook news feed or Twitter feed at the exact moment that you just happen to be there — you can access 1812Blockhouse and read not only our own posts, but find links to these other stories as well.

For you old-time movie buffs, it’s one of the main messages of the venerable classic, “The Miracle on 34th Street.” The Macy’s Santa Claus initially gets into trouble by telling customers to shop at a competitor if the price on a given item is lower elsewhere. Macy’s then discovers that customers realize that it makes even more sense to shop at Macy’s because of how they treat their customers.

We’re happy to challenge our fellow Richland County media to do the same. The first time that any links to an 1812Blockhouse post, we will buy their entire staff pizza for lunch. We also commit to collaboration and partnership whenever possible to benefit this great community. That’s the future of journalism, and it is our direction.

So that’s what is up with Richland News. We’ll continue this series soon looking at another way we use curation, as well as other features of 1812Blockhouse.

As always, thank you for being a reader.

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