Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Topix, Rural Communities, and Local Language

Topix CEO Chris Tolles

This morning I would like to point our readers towards a number of pieces reporting on, and responding to, yesterday's piece in The New York Times on how the online forum Topix is changing the tone of civil discourse in rural America. 

There is much more to say about A.G. Sulzberger's article, and I imagine that many of the sites we are linking to below will continue to follow the conversations that emerge around both Mr. Sulzberger's reporting and the presence of Topix in these communities. We have been in contact with our friends at The Boiled Down Juice, and we're planning a series of pieces that consider this complicated issue from a number of different angles.

We would value the opportunity to hear our readers' takes on this subject, and the manner in which it was reported. Please feel free to comment on our Facebook page or send us an email at artoftherural at We would like to include your perspective within this discussion.

Until then, here's some reading:

The Rural Blog has been covering this story for months. Here's their first piece (by Jon Hale) on Topix, and yesterday's response (by Al Cross), calling to accountability both the internet forum and local newspapers.

Lisa Pruitt, in her blog Legal Ruralism, expands upon both the legal issues and the rural-urban question beneath yesterday's NYT article.