The New News | Street Fight - Part 18

How Is Citizen Journalism Playing Out Today?

Tom Grubisich

How Is Citizen Journalism Playing Out Today?

Citizen journalism has propelled hundreds of hyperlocal news sites into existence. In the middle of the last decade, CitJ, particularly at the community level, was the hot topic in new media. Journalism’s thinkers saw it as a necessary and overdue reinvention of news (see Dan Gillmor, Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, among others). So how is it actually playing out today — on the ground? To find out, I asked publishers and editors who have been part of the hyperlocal phenomenon.

What Independent Hyperlocals Need for the Long Haul

Tom Grubisich

What Independent Hyperlocals Need for the Long Haul

The surging growth of hyperlocal news—today there are more than 3,000 sites in operation and hundreds more in various stages of formation—is being driven by independents. The media disrupters are the people who have the passion and gumption to develop and run their sites with financing from their own personal credit cards.

I’m thinking of entrepreneurs like Debbie Galant, who with $3,000 co-founded  Baristanet in the crowded media market of northern New Jersey in 2004,  expanding it to seven communities. And Scott Brodbeck who, while he was completing a master’s program, started ARLNow in  Arlington, Va., in suburban Washington D.C.

In Jefferson’s Hometown, a Hyperlocal Focuses on Digital Democracy

Tom Grubisich

In Jefferson’s Hometown, a Hyperlocal Focuses on Digital Democracy

Brian Wheeler is executive director of Charlottesville Tomorrow, a thriving nonprofit hyperlocal in Virginia that focuses on land use and other civic issues that are key to protecting the character of the community that was the home of Thomas Jefferson. We talked to Wheeler about his unusual definition of user engagement, and how he’s working to take it to a new level…

Nielsen’s Undercount of News: Why the Numbers Don’t Add Up

Tom Grubisich

Nielsen’s Undercount of News: Why the Numbers Don’t Add Up

Social networking has become the 800-pound gorilla of the Internet. That’s what Nielsen is trumpeting in a new report. And news, it says, is a tiny mouse.

Or is it?

Nielsen’s Social Media Report says news accounts for just 2.6% of Internet use compared to 22.5% for social networking and blogs.  But that news number doesn’t hold up under examination…

Are Big Media’s Partnerships With Seattle ‘Indies’ the Future of Hyperlocal?

Tom Grubisich

Are Big Media’s Partnerships With Seattle ‘Indies’ the Future of Hyperlocal?

In the furiously expanding, highly competitive and often conflicted hyperlocal space, some pieces appear to be coming together. Just possibly, highly digital Seattle may be the birthplace for what has long eluded hyperlocal: a sustainable  business model.

I’m talking about the new partnerships between Fisher Interactive Network—the online division of multimedia Fisher Communications—and two hyperlocal “indies” in Southeast Seattle, Beacon Hill Blog and the Rainier Valley Post

Why Hyperlocal News Is Better Than Ever

Tom Grubisich

Why Hyperlocal News Is Better Than Ever

Add everything up, and you have a steadily growing number of sites that are innovating to find and produce quality news covering a myriad of topics.  This added-value news is reaching and engaging more people, thanks principally to the giant leaps by social media. The best hyperlocals are becoming the X factor in the civic renaissance that communities need to emerge stronger from their trying economic times…

Denver Post Unveils ‘New’ YourHub. But Is It New Enough?

Tom Grubisich

Denver Post Unveils ‘New’ YourHub. But Is It New Enough?

Six years ago YourHub was major media’s first big foray into hyperlocal. It was the answer to newspapers desperately looking to replace shrinking print  revenues with digital gold. But digital gold, like the real stuff, is not easy to find. What happened in Denver is a sobering case study about metro newspapers and hyperlocal publishing.

How SeeClickFix Built Revenue Streams From Potholes

Tom Grubisich

How SeeClickFix Built Revenue Streams From Potholes

SeeClickFix started humbly — from potholes in New Haven, Conn. But it grew quickly as it mobilized citizens in thousands of communities around the U.S. to flag irritating and sometimes serious problems in their neighborhoods. But for all its social purpose, SeeClickFix is a for-profit company. Co-founder Ben Berkowitz talks about how SeeClickFix developed revenue from multiple sources…

Hyperlocal Scoreboard: Two Close Watchers Total It Up

Tom Grubisich

Hyperlocal Scoreboard: Two Close Watchers Total It Up

The Poynter Institute’s Mallary Jean Tenore and Rick Edmonds are must-reads in the digital media world. Their pieces on hyperlocal, while not numerous, have been extensively linked, tweeted and commented on. Tenore came of age in the digital era, while Edmonds entered his first newsroom when the IBM Selectric typewriter was still the standard…