Potholes make for good content. No.Really!

I always make a point of looking over the local and free papers when I visit a place, it’s a nice snapshot of a place. So, visiting the out-laws in Plymouth over new year gave me a chance to catch up with The Herald

One story that jumped out was about Potholes. A perennial of local papers (along with dog muck and traffic chaos!) but given a fun spin with the introduction of Pothole Pete. That’s him below.

Oh No! Pothole Pete. The caption to this picture read “CALAMITY: Pothole Pete poses to show how he may have looked if he had crashed his bike in a pothole”

Pothole Pete will doggedly search down the potholes in the area and get a good pic of them.He even has a twitter account!

It may not be to everyone’s taste and some may think it’s a little twee (a little too local newspaper perhaps) but I have to admit it  I kind of liked it and it did make me smile.

Looking at the images, it’s generated a new angle on an ongoing problem (as well as some great trick perspective photos!). And whilst the idea doesn’t need the web to work, the social element of Pothole Pete adds a nice dimension to the conceit –  an appropriate use of the medium to develop an idea.

You could say the same thing of this fantastic video that (in the serendipitous way the web has) came my way on Twitter today.

STORYBOARD: A Day With New York City’s Pothole Repair Crew from Tumblr on Vimeo.

The DOT in NYC have a Tumblr called The Daily Pothole which obviously caught Tumblr’s eye. The video, produced with the help of the great Tumblr storyboard crew, follows the NYC pothole repair crew. As Bob says in his tweet:

One mans pothole…

One of the things that teaching journalism does is force me to see the different perspectives and editorial drivers across the ‘types’ of journalism the students engage with. The differences in what a sports journo may consider newsworthy compared to a local newspaper journo etc.

Potholes couldn’t be a better example of that. The kind of idea that would have a good number of my students (and many Journos) turning their noses up. But a bit of imagination and a bit of fun and you’ve got good content.

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