Next week, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in suburban North Jersey will launch a local/national partnership project that could promote collaboration between news organizations. Meanwhile, a newspaper in Milwaukee could benefit from this kind of collaboration.
John Oliver’s tribute to newspapers on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” highlighted the challenges for the country’s dailies, as well as the dangers of making online news all about clickbait. To combat this dismal future, publishers should focus on making their sites as engaging as possible, which could ultimately help sell digital subscriptions.
The newspaper’s in-house digital agency has grown to 70 client businesses that provide a significant share of the estimated $40 million of annual revenue that doesn’t originate within the walls of the DMN. The division has become the centerpiece of the company’s work to to re-establish a revenue growth model.
The plugin “empowers the user to pinpoint where they are and then the stories are brought to them. It’s like Pokémon Go for journalism,” says founder Stephen Jefferson. “Users can now walk around to different locations and see what events, what news or crime stories have been reported around them.”
Audience analytics firms Parse.ly aims to give community news sites the same kind of in-depth information that platforms like Facebook provide about how users are responding – and not responding – to content. The company aims to help editors and reporters make decisions that can go right to the bottom line, leading to higher revenue.
A recent report had mixed emotions about the future of community news. So should publishers despair, or is there promise of sunlight behind the lowering clouds? We spoke with Nic Newman, digital strategist at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and author of the report, to find out more.
Is the outlook for local digital news as gloomy as a spate of recent reports indicates? Or are the forecasters looking in the rear-view mirror? We spoke recently with Rusty Coats, executive director of the digitally focused Local Media Consortium, about why the prognosis for local media might not be as bad is it seems.
Two years ago, Aol’s sale of Patch to Hale Global prompted a number of the company’s former editors to found their own independent sites. Michael Dinan, who had held major Patch posts in suburban Connecticut, was one of them. In this Q & A, we see how he and NewCanaanite.com are faring.
There are plenty of bad prognostications about the future of the community news business out there. But if you look at what is actually happening company by company, site by site, the view is not universally grim. There are a number of players making serious progress in digital revenue.
“You can’t always focus on monetization,” says 30A’s Mike Ragsdale. “You have to focus on what’s good for the community and for your audience. In my experience, if you do that, the money will eventually follow. Put others first, and they’ll inevitably support you.”