If there is any doubt about the future of newspapers and journalism, those worries should be squelched right now.

Kansas’ Dan Thalmann, publisher and editor of The Washington County News, is doing something incredible.

He has recruited local high school students who will be attending the inauguration of President Barack Obama to provide coverage of this historical event.

Talmann is equipping the students with access to a Twitter and Flickr account.

To the Twitter, the students can send text messages updating the masses about what is going on. Twitter is a service referred to as micro-blogging because users only get 140 characters to basically say whatever they want about whatever is going on in their own slice of the world.

To the Flickr, the students can upload cell phone photos and videos that actually show what is going on. Flickr is a photo and video hosting service, and to make getting videos online even easier, Thalmann is sending two Flip video cameras, which are video cameras that require next to nothing in regards of software or cables to download captured footage and get it posted online.

All the Twitter and Flickr posts will be automatically feeding onto The Washington County News blog at www.backroadsnewsroom.com via a real-time aggregation tool called Yahoo! Pipes, which will make it incredibly easy for family and friends of the students to keep up with what is going on in Washington D.C.

This is exciting.

This is the future of journalism.

Extremely local coverage of a part of history is going to not only be available to the Washington County residents, but it will also be available to the entire world.

How cool is that?

Thalmann got some help from the people at www.newstechzilla.com.

They have a story about this posted at their site, as does Thalmann at his blog.

I personally can’t wait to see this project in action.

Thalmann is setting the bar, and he’s setting it high.

Weekly newspapers across the state and country need to pay attention and learn from this.

This is why it is a great time to be in journalism.

The doom-and-gloom journalists need to get out of the way and let innovators such as Thalmann take the reins.

We’re entering a new era in journalism, and I’m stoked.

Please follow and like us: