Monday, August 3, 2015

Welcome to Neighbors! Here's how you can be a part of it

You're invited to make all of our stories better with your own knowledge, even before they're published.

Welcome to Neighbors! Here's how you can be a part of it

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Crowds of Havertown neighbors came out to celebrate the community´s annual Haverford Township Day on Oct. 1, 2011. The festival included craft vendors, music and rides.
Crowds of Havertown neighbors came out to celebrate the community's annual Haverford Township Day on Oct. 1, 2011. The festival included craft vendors, music and rides. Submitted photo

We know you want more coverage of the Main Line, but we also know you want better coverage. We recognize that you want coverage that knows the community as well as you do.

That won't happen by simply writing more stories. We certainly will write more stories, and we think you'll appreciate our consistent presence on the Main Line. You'll see our reporters, Josh Fernandez and Ashley Nguyen, writing their stories from coffee shops and shaking as many hands as possible. That's on top of the Inquirer's long history of covering the Main Line, including the popular Neighbors section that used to appear in print.

We're updating that Neighbors idea in a web-savvy way. That will include pointing you to other great reporting and commentary that's happening elsewhere on the web, even from competing news sites, so you never miss anything.

More importantly, we're offering you the greatest access you've ever had in helping to form our stories themselves. We hope you'll take us up on the offer by contributing your own knowledge -- not to replace our reporting, but to improve the stories that your neighbors read. You shouldn't have to wait until after our reporting is done to offer something other readers would find useful.

Our work will be published here at Philly.com/neighbors, and also in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here are some examples of how we'll connect you to your neighbors, and how your unique knowledge can make the community stronger.

– What We're Working On: When you visit philly.com/neighbors, you'll see a box at the top of the page that will tell you what stories our reporters are chasing. We will also ask you questions like:

  • Who should we talk to for this story?
  • Is there background we may not know about that we should include?
  • Is there an angle to this story we haven't considered?
  • Do you have personal experience with the matter?

In short: If you have information that your neighbors should know about, our reporters will be listening and happy to include your contributions in their stories. Consider yourself permanently invited to share your knowledge.

– Love/Remembrance/Kudos: We'll look to spotlight specific people on the Main Line who deserve extra attention. It will come in three forms:

  • Love: Engagement, wedding or anniversary stories with interesting twists
  • Remembrance: Extended obituaries, or just paying tribute to someone who passed
  • Kudos: Someone who deserves credit for a good deed or a great accomplishment

We'd appreciate your help in finding these people (see our first example of kudos here). You can write up to 250 words about your nominee, and we will post your story directly to the site (after it has been vetted by editors). Occasionally, one of our reporters will then write a longer story with photos or video.

To suggest someone, send an email (with photo, preferably) to neighborsmainline@gmail.com. You can request that your submission not be posted to the site if you would prefer.

– Photo galleries: If you have a photo you're proud of, we'll include it in a gallery of photos submitted by non-staffers. We'd also be glad to accept your videos. Use this tool to submit or email neighborsmainline@gmail.com.

– Anything else: We'd like to hear anything and everything from you. Email reporters Josh Fernandez (jfernandez@philly.com) and Ashley Nguyen (anguyen@philly.com), or reach the full Neighbors Main Line staff at mainline@philly.com.

We hope you can stop here and find everything you need to know about the Main Line, whether it's coming from our reporters or elsewhere on the web. Always feel free to let us know how we're doing.

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About this blog
Josh Fernandez is a 2011 graduate of Temple University where he studied journalism and gender studies. He was a writer and editor for The Temple News, and has interned at Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Daily News. Josh lived in Aston, Pa. in Delaware County before moving to University City in Philadelphia.

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