In an afternoon presentation during the second day of the Street Fight Summit on Wednesday in New York, GoLocal co-founder Josh Fenton took the stage and explained that in his hyperlocal news model, “It’s all about content.”
Fenton said the difference between GoLocal, an online news chain that debuted in Providence, R.I. in 2010, and other local digital media start-ups (like AOL’s Patch) is its focus on quality content, social media, and breaking major news. Meanwhile, in contrast to indie hyperlocals that are often focused on suburban areas, GoLocal covers neighborhood, municipal and state news: “We a a slightly different model where we are covering the state capital,” he said.
GoLocal’s goal is to produce hard-hitting journalism quicker and at less cost than a newspaper, he said.
“One of our failures has been hiring journalists from newspapers,” he said. “First of all, they’ve been trained to write for the number of pages printed.” He noted that a GoLocal journalist can produce 12 columns of information and have it up within hours of an event and promote it across 85,000 social relationships for a cost of about $30. By contrast, it costs a newspaper $800 to produce a similar story, and it doesn’t come out for a day or two.