To accurately gauge the quality of digital local news and assess its impact on communities, you would have to do what no one has wanted, or dared, to do. You would have to look at enough websites, enough stories and videos, in enough communities until you were glassy-eyed. Researchers behind a new study did just that.
According to new research from Pixalate, a cross-channel fraud intelligence company that works with brands and platforms to prevent ad fraud and improve ad inventory quality, about a quarter of all smartphone app video and smartphone app display activity is “invalid traffic” (the technical term for what is largely fraud).
Revenue was, naturally, very much on the minds of the 12 publishers, broadcasters, and other news media executives who took part in the Local Media Association’s June 2018 San Francisco Innovation Mission. But Jed Williams, LMA’s chief innovation officer, said the event focused on audience engagement.
A year-long study of newsrooms in the U.S. and Europe by two Danish journalists has singled out 16 local providers in the U.S. who are meeting the researchers’ main criterion: structural changes “to forge closer ties and stronger relations to their communities and audiences”—with a special focus on journalism over commerce, technology, and business models.
On accuracy, news organizations across the board have to address more forthrightly the public’s concerns about the truthfulness of what is presented. Those concerns do not appear to be as great as expressed in the Gallup/Knight numbers, which exaggerate a widespread talking point about growing distrust in the news media.
In an under-the-radar move to grow their revenue substantially, local media companies are putting major resources into developing a broad suite of digital marketing services (DMS). Media companies make this pivot as B2Cs rethink their own marketing goals, aiming not just to reach potential consumers but to convert them into paying customers, closing the path to purchase.
“An interesting thing is that Facebook has been a leader for so long [that] it’s become oversaturated on the buy side, and prices are going way up. There’s an opportunity for other vendors who can provide similarly granular audience information to seize some of that market share,” says Kitewheel CEO Mark Smith.
“We made it our mission, working with our publisher at the time, Ken Mauser, that we would reach out to the people of the South Side and make sure they had a place where they could tell us about the good things happening where they live,” Peoria Journal Star Executive Editor Dennis Anderon says of reaching out to neglected community members.
Cost-cutting equity funds have hollowed out scores of daily newspapers, turning their communities into “news deserts,” the critics say. But Kirk Davis, CEO of GateHouse Media, counters that the equity-funded conglomerate is transforming its 144 dailies into tribunes of the people. He makes his case in this Q&A.
There’s a new nameplate in hyperlocal news publishing, and just about everything about it is boldly different, including the name—Rover. This combination digital daily and print monthly was launched in suburban Nashville last week. In this Q&A, Tom Grubisich talks with one of Rover’s architects, Brad Dennison.