“Boomer Bloggers” To Cover Maine News

By Mark Scheerer

ELLSWORTH, Maine - Move over, Drudge and Huffington. The "Woodward and Bernstein" generation is going to be using blogs and social media tools to report the news - news by and about Maine baby boomers. It's called the Maine Boomer Reporting Corps.

Thanks to a matching grant from the Knight Foundation, seniors from rural communities are going to receive training ranging from "journalism 101" to photo and video newsgathering and social-media skills. That will be done at the University of Maine's Center on Aging, where Carol Hammond says the trend in hyper-local news blogging should not be off-limits to older folks who did not grow up as so-called "digital natives."

"It is a myth that older people don't know how to use technology. It's just a question of being introduced to it in a way that's relevant to their lives."

The $52,000 in matching funds comes from the Knight Community Information Challenge. Its directors say out of the 20 winning proposals, the Boomer Reporting Corps stood out as the only one addressing the informational needs of that age group.

Trabian Shorters of the Knight Foundation says it makes sense to him that older Mainers should get into the news business.

"It turns out that boomers are actually - compared to the general public - pretty voracious consumers of news. But what was exciting to us about this proposal was it was the boomers actually doing the news coverage about issues that matter to their generation."

Read more at publicnewsservice.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.