In these hard economic times we all need ways to make money, though I read in Editor and Publisher that newspapers that were neighborhood or ethnic based were doing surprisingly well. I hope both of you are in the doing well group. As you know the LA Times got lots of mileage out of the deaths of readers who looked pretty similar to your readership though their Homicide Report Blog.
I personally didn’t care for it that much owing to their lacking of coverage areas of Latino and African-American life. I felt that it was a sort of one sided type coverage that just perpetrated stereotypes. Many people of color did not agree with me. They feel that living on your knees is better than being dead. Even though we all agreed that the coverage was going to do absolutely nothing in regards to stopping crime.
Now what that means to me is that this coverage is very much wanted (think of the ad dollars) and I think your papers should each create a Homicide Report Blog. You would definitely get plenty of traffic. People like reading about people dying and with open comments, you could get a wealth of material for other stories and maybe possibly a book deal for a writer in the community.
Wouldn’t that be ground breaking a Latino or African-American journalist who lives in the community (not next to, but in) being viewed as the authority on that community? The mainstream press thinks that ethnic minorities (specifically the ones that live with other ethnic people) are not capable of objective coverage of their own communities, but I do not think this is true. (And I know that all of the city belongs to all of us, but as I don’t probably have to tell either of you, I didn’t make up the rules stating who could go where first.)
I think if a white person can cover their husband’s best friend Hollywood bar objectively that an African-American or Latino could cover Watts objectively.
Creating a blog is not hard. I can point you in the direction of someone who could help you. The LA Times uses Typepad software, I know because I use it also. Many people use WordPress, but it looks too hippie to me, but you can use whatever you want.
You just get the software and embed it on your site.
Possibly I should be asking The Wave and The Sun, but out of respect I thought I would ask you guys first since you guys are two of the oldest minority owned papers in Los Angeles with La Opinion being founded in 1926 by Ignacio E. Lozano followed up by the LA Sentinel in 1933 by Col Leon H. Washington and his wife Ruth Washington.
Help stop the begging. Give the people what they want, so they don’t have to crawl around in the dirt and beg the LA Times for coverage.