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.
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.
A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Facebook Marketplace Launches New Services Feature in Partnership with On-Demand Startups… A Fifth of Amazon Merchants Sell More Than $1 Million a Year, Double Last Year’s Share… How the Washington Post Is Building Its Tech Platform, Arc…
Eight and a half years after launching his hyperlocal news site The Batavian, in upstate New York, Howard Owens is looking at growing his base company, Album Corp., beyond Batavia to multiple locations. His plan for expansion is driven by a homemade mobile app that he’s experimenting with for the site.
Tony Haile, until recently the longtime CEO of the highly regarded online-analytics site Chartbeat, is planning to launch a new subscription site that doesn’t try to convert readers from free to paid. He calls it Scroll, and it has $3 million in seed money from formidable publishers including the New York Times, News Corp and Axel Springer.
The “Facebook Journalism Project” was launched recently to meet the “needs” of a news industry concerned about all the free editorial content being made available to the giant distribution platform. In this Q & A, Josh Mabry, manager of Facebook’s local news partnerships, details what FB is doing and plans to do for community news.
For years, there’s been a lot of earnest talk about digital news sites collaborating to produce editorial content that had more value for users — and to help the collaborators make their often-precarious operations sustainable. But the talk produced as many fits as starts. That’s changing, and for the better.
One of the earliest hyperlocal networks for parents is Macaroni Kid, which was founded by “recovering lawyer” Joyce Shulman and her husband, marketing entrepreneur Eric Cohen, in their community on Long Island in 2009. In this Q&A, Cohen talks about the company’s recent acquisition of also-well-established Stroller Traffic.