The Sacramento Press recently announced its third annual Journalism Open, a unique contest for local amateur journalists:
Holding true to its strong belief in community engagement, The Sacramento Press accepts writers of all skill levels to enter the Journalism Open. This pro-am approach allows the community to report on a wide range of issues that are most important to and affect local neighborhoods. Stories can range from insight on an upcoming City Council election to a favorite landmark in the Sacramento region. The Journalism Open encourages participants to report on stories that they are passionate about â€“ reiterating that no story is too small.
2011 grand prize winner Isaac Gonzalez parlayed his success into the launch of ranSACkedmedia.com.
I’m still skeptical of the editorial model behind SacPress.com. The model is still open to being gamed by PR professionals and others with conflicts of interest, though on a recent visit I see that there are quite a few articles by staff in addition to locals who appear to be interested parties alongside what are obviously press releases. There are quite a few nice concert reviews and photo galleries with great images. It also looks as if they have added a badging system, including a “Verified” badge for writers who Sac Press has met in person.
It’s definitely an improvement over the earlier versions that didn’t lend themselves to filtering out the noise, but still… who wants to read through an article about community art written by the head of the Arts Commission or a preview of a film screening at the Crocker written by the Crocker’s Marketing staff?