November 17, 2009

Be a news source on all subjects Black Friday

Once a month, The Baltimore Sun invites everyone -- yes, you too -- to share experiences that will help us better understand how folks are dealing with day-to-day economic realities. The newest topic: Black Friday, that frenzy of post-Thanksgiving shopping.

Will you partake? Have your plans changed from previous years thanks to the downturn?

You can find the Black Friday questions here. Or go to, our main page for our "be a news source" effort.

Why are we doing this? Because economic news coverage is better and more relevant when it's not just the pundits talking.

Grateful thanks to all who participate and -- better yet -- spread the word.

October 12, 2009

Light Source: What d'you know?

This isn't housing-related, but I thought you might be interested regardless. The newest questions for Light Source, the Sun's share-your-experiences opportunity, just went online today.

I told you about Light Source last month. Here's the lowdown: Economic news coverage is better for everyone when journalists hear from regular folks affected by economic issues, not just economists and policy makers. Light Source is your chance to make mass communication a two-way street.

This month's topic: health care. (Seemed timely.)

The direct link to the Light Source main page is, if you'd like to spread the word, and I hope you will.

And now back to your regularly scheduled real estate blog.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 5:23 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Light Source, Off topic, just because I can

September 16, 2009

Light for all



Announcement time -- I think this is really cool, and I hope you'll agree.

The Baltimore Sun’s business news staff is launching a new feature called Light Source. It's an opportunity for you to connect with the Sun and help us spot trends that are benefiting or buffeting you. Reporters hear from pundits all the time, but the idea here is to open a direct line with readers. In other words, we’re asking you to be a source.

Once a month we’ll ask questions about life experiences -- for instance, how has the housing-market downturn personally affected you? -- and invite people to weigh in. The questions will be online, so anyone can participate. (We won’t be using anyone’s written answers without calling first to make sure it’s OK. This isn’t an on-the-record interview.)

The Light Source main page, with more details, is here. And you can find the first questionnaire here.

American Public Media, which produces such radio shows as Marketplace, has been doing something similar to great effect. This helps make news coverage more relevant.

Some of you frequent Wonk commenters heard about this yesterday because I have your email addresses. (In fact, several of you have already joined in -- thanks!) But I don't have everyone's address, and I'm sure I missed some of you whose addresses I do have, so consider this your personal invitation.

I hope you insightful folks will check it out and invite others. See ways to improve Light Source? Let me know.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Light Source
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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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