The Washington Post | Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Local reporting is suffering from a “gradual erosion,” Paul Farhi writes in a piece bouncing off Pew’s new State of the News Media report. The economics of digital publishing are especially brutal to local news, Farhi writes:
In drawing readers and viewers from a relatively small pond, local news outlets struggle to attract enough traffic to generate ad dollars sufficient to support the cost of gathering the news in the first place. Conversely, sites that report and comment on national and international events draw from a worldwide audience, making it relatively easier to aggregate a large audience and the ad dollars that come with it.
Publishers that cover national and international news account for 60 percent of new jobs in digital publishing, Farhi writes, while newspapers continue to cut jobs, usually from their local staffs. Small operations and nonprofits can fill the gap — Scott Brodbeck’s Local News Now in the Washington, D.C., area, employs three journalists and sales director and is profitable — but many are “financially precarious.” And, of course, there’s the Patch saga. Read more