Muraca is a sophomore majoring in economics at George Mason University. He is also the creator of two news organizations, Fairfaxpedia and Fairfax Tomorrow, which he created to better connect the public to issues happening in Fairfax County.
How did you end up in Fairfax County?
Originally, I wanted to be in the D.C. area for politics. And because I wanted in-state tuition. The summer before I left for Mason, however, I worked for a nonprofit that reported mostly on land-use and transportation issues; it was all local stuff. After that, my focus began to turn away from national politics and toward the local community.
Tell me a bit about Fairfaxpedia. Why'd you start that?
It launched in October 2011 and was meant to serve as a one-stop resource for Fairfax County and the city of Fairfax. I was trying to learn about what was happening -- issues, politics, culture -- and I realized the best way to do that is to organize it in a Wiki-format. Everything was big and confusing, and it's a lot of stuff, so I wanted to create something that made it easy to access specific information.
How has it been received?
It's got about 400-plus articles and a good amount of publicity, so that's helped. Right now, there are one or two users who contribute regularly, so I'd say it's still in its infancy stage, but it's done really well over the past year.
And what about Fairfax Tomorrow?
It launched just a few weeks ago. While I was in Charlottesville, I worked at an organization called Charlottesville Tomorrow, and they always said there wasn't enough coverage of specific, in-depth issues in the community. So Fairfax Tomorrow is modeled after that. Its mission is to help inform citizens. It's a news blog that covers stories that aren't being seen.
So what's next for you after graduation?
Fairfax Tomorrow will definitely keep me here. I'm hoping it will turn into a full-time job.