The local news automation camp keeps graduating hopefuls. One of these is a four-year-old startup spawned from the mind of a former Microsoft-Amazon engineer who faced a very common problem: “how do I find out what’s happening outside my home right now?”
One emerging group that might be able to help publishers answers tough questions is the nonprofit group STAR Communities, which “works to evaluate, improve, and certify sustainable communities.” The company helps cities and counties “achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well being for their residents.”
Does Central New Jersey’s New Brunswick Today represent the future of local news? The local site has made inroads in its community, supporting itself with a “three-legged stool” combining reader memberships, foundation support and site advertising.
Messaging apps would be the ideal medium for U.S. dailies to capture committed readers in the emerging era of the “New Localism.” The big advantage of chat apps is that publishers can send questions and other “push” notifications to subscribers that promote high levels of engagement.
Revenue SVP Esfand Pourmand wants the group’s 17 dailies and 57 weeklies to maximize their revenue potential. To do that he knows they also have to enrich “user experiences” across multiple platforms.
In 1989, Marc Wilson’s Montana news bulletin board put editorial content into the hands of other local-news publishers more quickly, abundantly, and cheaply. Today, Wilson’s TownNews.com serves 1,600 newspapers — big and small, daily and weekly — as well as pure-plays and other digital publications
Kenny Katzgrau talks with us about what he calls the “growing divide” between publishers, like local newspaper groups, who pitch advertisers with the scale of big numbers of pageviews, and independents, who emphasize value.
In September, Renee Levine and her husband Josh launched their hyperlocal parent-recommendations site in the New York City suburbs of Westchester County, N.Y., Fairfield County in Connecticut and North Jersey. Here, Levine talks about the birth of ParentNation and why the company is building their content strategy around crowdsourcing.
My look at some local coverage of the election offers encouraging clues to how good journalism can have a positive impact on the business models for local news. It also implies that the coming Trump era is very likely to accelerate the industry’s transformation.
Seeing their very survival at stake, local news sites are starting to revamp their models and sometimes scrap them for new ones. Some of the best of what’s happening in the besieged industry was put on display at the recent “Sustain Local 2016” conference.