On October 1, AccessVision announced the launch of BCCurrent.org, an innovative website, organizers say will spark civic engagement in Battle Creek’s neighborhoods by providing residents with a powerful new tool for sharing news and information. Organizers are inviting local residents who want to share their stories. The multimedia site is a project of AccessVision with support from the Battle Creek Enquirer and the Battle Creek Community Foundation. It will be entirely staffed, written and edited by local residents. Dale Geminder, executive director of AccessVision, said the ‘hyper-local’ site provides residents with a unique and vital tool for improving life in their neighborhoods. “I firmly believe that if residents better understand their community through a feeling of a stronger connection, individuals can engage and connect with those they may not otherwise meet,” said Dale Geminder, executive director of AccessVision. “This hyper-local approach to news, happenings and events will improve civic life as we know it.” The purpose of the BC Current is twofold:
- Provide citizens of greater Battle Creek with the tools to create an alternative news source for the benefit of our community.
- Create a forum and information center that fosters civic engagement, computer literacy and a better understanding of their community.
“We believe this initiative will lead to neighborhoods that are better informed and residents who have a greater sense of ownership of their community,” Geminder said. “Most important, it will provide residents who feel disenfranchised from the community a means to reconnect in a powerful way.” BC Current is launching with more than a dozen local reporters and mentors who will post stories to the site and help other residents get involved.Battle Creek Enquirer editors and staff members will assist AccessVision in offering monthlyjournalism and digital storytelling workshops to help contributors get started, although the classes are not required. Reporters are asked to create stories using journalistic processes such as citing multiple sources and providing documentation for their reporting. For those who want to blog, there is an opinion section, as well. The site will handle print, video, photo and audio content. “This is grassroots journalism,” Geminder said. “We want to remove all barriers for sharing news and information about local neighborhoods. This is truly the people’s news site. Residents interested in contributing to the site can sign up at bccurrent.org/user/register. All stories – from neighborhoods, organizations, sports teams or any other subject — are welcome. What’s YOUR STORY! For additional information you may contact Dale Geminder or Aric Ruble at 968-3633 or www.bccurrent.org/contact and select publisher.