Q & A with Kurt Hoffman from AppIndie

Posted: October 11, 2010 by fsucenterforcreativewriting in Interview

How did AppIndie get started?

A group of like minded individuals met for over a year to discuss the idea of a community newspaper.  The idea evolved to an online community based newspaper that would  utilize citizen journalists writing about things that mattered in our community.  We applied for a grant from J-Lab and the Knight Foundation out of the University of MD.  We were chosen as 1 of 8 in the nation to be funded!

How have you seen the publishing industry change and how are you responding to it?

We feel that for a democracy to be effective, all voices must be heard!  Oftentimes certain perspectives are prevented from the discourse.  We felt the need to offer a forum for these perspectives.  Our focus this year will be to have greater coverage and participation from the youth and young adults of our area, and an effort is being made to have submissions from high school and college students.

What benefits does AppIndie offer writers?

We can immediately respond to issues in the community because our citizen journalists live in different communities.  For example we had the first story and the best pictures documenting the Gianni’s/Pritchard fire last year and we had the first footage of the Delfest Storm Cell from 2 years ago.   These two stories recorded our greatest website traffic  since our inception.  We have the capacity to post an article the same day that we receive it (possible but not promised).

What are you looking for in a submission?

We have our guidelines listed online.  We have also begun to accept creative story and poetry submissions.

What do you have coming up that we should look out for?

Coming up—we are working on creating a “community’ section to the paper.  We have envisioned this as a portal for the community to come together–discussion boards, barter boards, ride shares, service organization news and notes, and a post for family reunion pictures.  We are also open to hearing from the community as to what they would like to see on our community section!  We are open to suggestions and feel that this is really the heart and soul of a community newspaper!

Kurt Hoffman

Please see the Appalachian Independent’s website for more information.

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