As part of its mission to build a robust primary-source journalism from withing our interconnected communities we are building a network of local news bureaus. A PNC Bureau is a group of dedicated writers who cover news for their local Pagan community. Bureaus are a vital part of the PNC. Bureaus act as the on the ground source for stories and articles. The PNC Main then disseminates those stories produced by the bureaus.
Why is this important? Because we need to start treating what happens in our communities as important. We take it for granted when religious journalists tell us that a speech made to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church is newsworthy, but isn’t then the installation of a new Archdruid of the ADF equally newsworthy? At least to us? I remember quite vividly having a discussion at the 2010 Pagan Spirit Gathering on this issue, about how many of our Pagan organizations rarely send out press releases. Partially because there hasn’t been a “press” to send it to, but also because they didn’t think what was happening to them was newsworthy in the first place. We need to change that impression, because what happens in our organizations, and in our local communities is important, and they need to be covered.
Media outlets like The Wild Hunt, Patheos, Witchvox, Witches & Pagans, Proud Pagan Podcasters,About.com: Paganism & Wicca, and others are all filling niches within a national/international context for our communities, but without original reporting coming from the local level we become overly dependent on a news industry that increasingly doesn’t have the time or inclination to cover what we feel is important. Without our own journalism we miss newsworthy events that aren’t covered by traditional media, and become over-reliant on editorial, rumor, and rants. We need to build a new Pagan journalism from the grass-roots up, and our local bureaus are a first step down that road.