Monday, June 7, 2010

The Record announces Ben Franklin Project stories

Recently I wrote about the Troy Record's participation in Journal Register Company's Ben Franklin Project. On Sunday, July 4, our editorial coverage will reflect the fact our journalists will have sought considerable help from readers in reporting the news, while using free tools to publish our print and online products.

We rarely work on story budgets this far out but for this project we are making an exception, for obvious reasons. Here are seven stories we would like readers of The Record to give us input on:

High cost of summer athletics. Some parents pay up to $1,000 or more for their children to play on summer athletic teams or to attend specialized camps around the country and abroad. We want your input on the matter of the value of these programs and camps to swimmers, soccer players, baseball athletes, football participants and others. For a related story, we would also like your opinion on how the specialization in sports has led to the near extinction of the three-sport scholastic athlete as teens strive to pursue college scholarships. Contact Andrew Santillo or Will Montgomery.

 Major League Baseball memories. We’re looking for readers who have been to major league ballparks to share their most memorable experiences - as well as photos if you have 'em - with fellow readers. Contact Ed Weaver.

Parking meters. Troy recently installed new meters downtown. The effort has caused quite a stir among residents, business owners and visitors. We want to find out how the public feels about the city’s effort to generate new revenue and manage parking space availability. Some people report confusion about how the meters work and where best to find parking. We will send a staff member to observe how parking ordinances are enforced as well as how people are reacting to it. There are also plans to create a video and/or photo slideshow on how the meters work, and to set up an online forum for discussion. Contact any one of these individuals with your feedback: Jessica Pasko, Cecelia Martinez, Tom Caprood or Katie Nowak.  

Gridlock. Capital District highways and thoroughfares tend to turn into parking lots most days during morning and afternoon rush hours. What are some of your worst commuter horror stories? What route is the worst for traffic jams or best to avoid them? Contact: Jessica Pasko, Dave Canfield, or Danielle Sanzone.

Editorial page content. We’re inviting the public to submit content for editorial cartoons, columns and guest editorials related to an Independence Day theme of your choice. Feel free to be as creative as to the context - patriotism, independence, the state of state and/or federal politics, or something else. Contact Lisa Robert Lewis for more information and to share your ideas.

Travel. We are asking the community to send us their thoughts and photos of their favorite travel destinations for this time of year: day trip, weekend getaway and week-long (or longer) summer destinations are all welcome. E-mail Siobhan Connally.

Photo story. Lastly, we're looking for photos of your favorite historic sites, patriotic displays, and local summer events to put together for a photo page showcasing your interests. Contact Mike McMahon.

Thanks in advance for participating!

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