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Times' new Web site takes readers' insight

By Times Staff
Published September 13, 2005

The St. Petersburg Times is inviting readers to report news from their communities in an online publication called It's Your Times. This new site, made its debut Monday.

Six initial topics have been chosen: St. Petersburg's Midtown, St. Pete Beach, Gay Rights, BayWalk/Ybor City, Creative Communities and East Tampa. Participants can suggest other topics.

"We've invited people with specific expertise," said Kevin McGeever, editor of "but we know there are many others who have personal experience, research results and inside information to share with the community."

It's Your Times moderator Paul Swider will write summaries for each topic so readers can find out quickly what's new.

"Readers can come, see the summary and offer their input," Swider said. "For instance, with Creative Communities, we've invited some members of Creative Tampa Bay to contribute. Because of the economic development aspects of a creative community, elected officials or chamber of commerce members may want to offer their input. Likewise, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, artists and entertainers. But so can anyone who has something to offer about this region and what makes a creative community."

It's Your Times is an example of citizen journalism, in which readers contribute content to a news organization.

"This is part of a larger movement within journalism to use new technology to engage readers in a dialogue about their community," McGeever said. "One ambition for It's Your Times is to publish excerpts of these conversations in the Times ."

--For more information, visit

[Last modified September 13, 2005, 01:44:05]

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