Who Should Rate Communities: Experts, the Public — or Both?

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.”

Jersey’s New Brunswick Today Punches Its Way to a New Model for Local News

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.

Can Chat Apps Help Local Papers ‘Talk’ Their Way Out of Distress?

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.

Hearst Papers Tested to Perfect the Vital ‘User Experience’

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.

TownNews Founder: News Sites Will ‘Perish’ Without Latest AdTech

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

Broadstreet CEO: ‘Value’ in Local Publishing Is More Than Scale

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.

Moms and Dads Do the Crowdsourcing at New Hyperlocal Network ParentNation

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.

Will the New Political Landscape Reinvigorate Local News?

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.

Community News’ Fight to Succeed: ‘Sustain Local 2016’ Put It All Together

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.

At Hearst Newspapers, a New Digital Strategy to End ‘Flying Blind’

Just how far local newspapers have to go to plant their flag commandingly in the fiercely competitive world of digital is summed up in a revealing story told by Robertson (Rob) Barrett, the new digital chief at Hearst Newspapers, who says that editors just don’t have information about the interests of the people in their market.

Philly Answer to Tough Critique of Newspapers’ Digital Push: We Need to Do Better and We Will

A new study that says newspapers’ struggle to bridge the immense gap between the print and digital worlds has been a near-total bust. We spoke about the study with to Jim Friedlich, Executive Director and CEO of the Institute for Journalism in New Media.

GateHouse’s Newton: ‘We Want to Own More Local Newspapers’

The company recently created a division for new ventures and appointed as its CEO a publishing executive with deep experience in marketing and sales — Peter Newton, who will also continue as CEO of GateHouse’s Propel Business Services. In this Q & A, Newton talks about present and future change at GateHouse:

As Merchants Flock to Social Media, How Can Community News Sites Keep Pace?

According to a new survey, SMBs are turning to social media more and more. But they may be doing it not just because they’re getting good results but also because they have better buying experiences with Facebook and others.

As 10-Year Mark Approaches, West Seattle Blog Sticks to Profitable Basics

In December 2005, West Seattle Blog was a “personal project” with no news or advertising. A major windstorm that struck West Seattle and King County in December 2006 changed all that, and in the nearly 10 years since, WSB has become a highly regarded inspiration for independent digital community sites.

John Oliver Delivers a Valentine (And a Warning) to Newspapers — But Will They Listen?

John Oliver’s tribute to newspapers on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” highlighted the challenges for the country’s dailies, as well as the dangers of making online news all about clickbait. To combat this dismal future, publishers should focus on making their sites as engaging as possible, which could ultimately help sell digital subscriptions.

How DMN’s Speakeasy Became a Major Revenue Driver in the Digital Transition

The newspaper’s in-house digital agency has grown to 70 client businesses that provide a significant share of the estimated $40 million of annual revenue that doesn’t originate within the walls of the DMN. The division has become the centerpiece of the company’s work to to re-establish a revenue growth model.

Bloom Geolocation Puts Users Where News Is — And Can Guide Them to Nearby Advertisers

The plugin “empowers the user to pinpoint where they are and then the stories are brought to them. It’s like Pokémon Go for journalism,” says founder Stephen Jefferson. “Users can now walk around to different locations and see what events, what news or crime stories have been reported around them.”

New Report Identifies Enterprise Customer Types & Needs

In our latest analysis, we discovered that the integration needs of enterprise marketers reveal some clear correlations in terms of attitude, behavior and installed technologies. For example, the companies that found local store sites to be most effective were also doing well with local print, and planned to increase their social, mobile, and digital display advertising.

Leader of Reuters Institute’s Bleak News Report: ‘We Can Do It’

A recent report had mixed emotions about the future of community news. So should publishers despair, or is there promise of sunlight behind the lowering clouds? We spoke with Nic Newman, digital strategist at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and author of the report, to find out more.

LMC Chief: Local News Pessimists Are Missing the Big Innovations

Is the outlook for local digital news as gloomy as a spate of recent reports indicates? Or are the forecasters looking in the rear-view mirror? We spoke recently with Rusty Coats, executive director of the digitally focused Local Media Consortium, about why the prognosis for local media might not be as bad is it seems.