Macon Community News wants to publish your news

Macon Community news is a community driven news site designed to get out news about the people, businesses, organizations, schools and events of Macon and the surrounding Middle Georgia area. We are interested in stories that show a positive side of the area and encourage involvement in the community, support of local businesses and charities and bringing people together with a positive message.

First color issue of Macon Community News
Even the print edition of Macon Community News needed the contributions of the people of Macon. We are here to share positive stories about Macon and Middle Georgia by the people of Macon and Middle Georgia. Photo by Doug Deal.

If you have news that you would like to publish about your organization or school, please contact us about publishing a regular update on our site. Some examples include a matter-of-fact update about a recent meeting, a successful event or news about how to become a member. For schools, it might be a highlight of the month’s activities, a congratulation to students are faculty for winning an award or just an announcement of an event.

We also want profiles of local businesses. If there is a local business that you like and want to publicize, we would love to run your article. If you have a jobs announcement or are just opening, let us know and we will do our best to share your news or publish your description of your business.

Politicians who represent any portion of Bibb County or the surrounding area or candidates for those offices are also invited to submit op-ed that speak directly to the voters. We only ask that such pieces stick to issues and keep a positive message and we will publish them without introducing editorial content.

Finally, we want writers who think they have something interesting for consumption by the readers of Macon and Middle Georgia. Especially reviews of entertainment and recreational activities, quick day trips, hidden gems, arts and crafts, and more.

If you are interested, please send an email to contributors@maconcommunitynews.com, or navigate to our contribution signup page.

 

What is Macon Community News?

First color issue of Macon Community News
Closeup of the first color issue of the Macon Community News. The print edition has been retired and replaced by an online-only edition. Photo by Doug Deal.

After getting back into the flow of writing articles since our re-launch on Saturday July 9, 2016, I wanted to write something about my goal for this online new blog and the background of why we started it.

To put it quite frankly, the Macon Telegraph is horrible. Much of the division in our community stems, in my opinion, from the editorial slant of the paper of record. Not even the blatant politics of the publication, but the tendency that they seem to have of publishing articles to get people angry with each other.

We do not need more reasons to view people as simple members of a group who should be judged and viewed by their worst actors. We do not need for every report about the happenings in the community to be steeped in a racial animus. Finally, we do not need a negative sinister tone to every story about things happening in the community.

Every time I read a story from the local print paper, the world seems like it is falling apart and they profit from it because such stories that pit us against each other raise page views. It is bad for us and it is irresponsible.

So, I made the decision that I would try to do something different and instead of boxing people into some group and pitting them against other groups, I wanted to create a news source that would cut out the editorial slant, the negativity and the need to stir up controversy. There is no greater truth in a negative story than a positive one, but a positive story helps us to feel good about our community and gives us a sense of pride in everything around us. Instead of being complacent in seeing things become run down and expecting failure, we begin to expect success. This is called hope and it is something the major local newspaper does its best to quash in our communities because it is more profitable to their out-of-town masters.

Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that this tiny project is a competitor to the Telegraph. There is no comparison. The Telegraph spends more on emptying their trash cans for a day than we spend on this project for a year. This online newspaper is to serve that niche of people who are tired of the constant drumbeat of negativity that works to drown out whatever positive is happening in middle Georgia. It is likely a small minority, but that is okay. People who want to be angry and outraged can always go to macon.com and find something to make them mad at someone else. We want no part in it.

What is Macon Community News? We are people who think that print media is desperate and failing and that local news can best be shared by those making it, the members of the community. Why should your news be filtered through gatekeepers who have their own agenda when you can write you can submit your own story and have it shared for anyone to read?  Why have your news as a second thought on the back page of some interior section behind wire stories that every newspaper prints when you can have your local news have the spotlight equally with all the others?

We also want to make the site more conversational and less artificially stilted than traditional news. Journalism is really a misnomer these days. Papers are not writing academic works that will be bound in a journal to be a historical record of things to future scholars. No, they write content to sell ads. Period. End of story. We will not pretend there is more to it than that, but as you can see, this site isn’t mostly ads like most informational websites. Our main purpose is to provide news that WE want to read which cannot be found anywhere.

If you think this mission is worthwhile and valuable, you can help us in many ways. The most important is to give us stories to share. Write something, preferably 250 words or more, take a picture and ask the important questions, “Who? What? Where? Why? and How?” and send everything to us. We will edit it to meet our editorial style and post it, if it is something that will benefit the Macon and Middle Georgia community.

Also, we can write the story for you. Just let us know what it is and who to talk to. No story is too small, as long as it highlights something about Macon and Middle Georgia or the someone who is making a positive difference.

If you own a business, we would love to post a profile. Just let us know and give us that contact information.

Next, sharing our articles on Facebook is huge for us. If you find something interesting, share it and tag someone you think will benefit from it. Comment on our posts and let us know what you think. Not only does this increase our reach, it also encourages those who wrote the story to contribute more.

Finally, don’t let yourself get caught up in the negativity that permeates so much of what goes on around us these days. There is hope and decency, but as I have long believed, you find what you are looking for. Stop looking for the bad and you will start finding the good in everything around you.

I hope you enjoy what we have to offer.

Macon Community News looking for writers

Writers needed
We need your content. Publicize your organization, your event or your business. Publicize what you like. Photo by Doug Deal.

Macon community news is looking for writers and content. If you would like to see the things that interest you get more publicity, we’d love to host your story and share it with the rest of Middle Georgia.

Our model is to focus on local news and information that you cannot easily find online. We do not care about or need ad revenue, so there is no pressure to create sensationalistic click bait. We just want stories that inform our readers about the things going on in Macon and Middle Georgia because we have long been frustrated by the lack of such information.

Here are some examples of stories that we’d love to publish:

  • Announcements about events from local clubs and organizations, such as meeting times and places, elections and their mission.  If you are a membet of an organization that never gets publicity, this would be a perfect opportunity to change that.
  • Profiles of local restaurants. If you want to share and support a local restaurant, here is your chance.
  • Profiles of local businesses. If you are a customer or even the owner of a local business that does good work, we want to hear about it.
  • Success stories about students, schools and teachers.
  • Commentary on a local issue about government, trash collection, or even kudos when appropriate.
  • Advice on any subject relevant to Middle Georgia.
  • Day trips and things to do and see.
  • Entertainment.
  • Volunteer opportunities.
  • Networking and career development.

All articles are casual in nature and a more conversational editorial style will be allowed. We do not want these stories to be a chore, but a joy to write.

If you’d like to contribute, please fill out our interest form.

Macon Community News is back as an online news source

Macon Community News first printing in color
Macon Community News being printed in color for the first time as the second issue comes off the press. Photo by Doug Deal

It was three years ago this July, when the print edition of Macon Community News was mailed to 12,000 households and businesses in Macon-Bibb County. The run lasted 6 months and our last issue was published in December 2013.

Our intent has always been to bring the paper back in some form and now 30 months after the last print issue went to press, this online only edition is born.

At first, content will not grow quickly, so bear with us as we renew our partnerships with content generators and form new ones. If you are interested in contributing, we will be posting a contact form soon for that purpose.

Our stories will follow the model of the print edition, which will focus on positive stories that highlight the people, businesses and events in the Macon community. This will include the following:

  1. Profiles on locally owned businesses
  2. Profiles on local people or those who have impacted the local area
  3. Coverage of local governments, town halls and forums
  4. Features about local service, social, and charitable organizations
  5. Stories about local schools, including sports
  6. Information about local crime and safety
  7. Announcements about local happenings and events
  8. Menus and reviews about local restaurants
  9. Local commentary of interest to people in the Macon community
  10. Anything we see fit to publish
First color issue of Macon Community News
Closeup of the first color issue of the Macon Community News. Photo by Doug Deal.