EveryBlock’s recent resurrection raises hopes that digital media efforts can help stoke interest in hyperlocal news. Focusing tightly on Chicago neighborhoods, EveryBlock connects users to information about crime, civic developments and calendar events – down to the block level – and brings neighbors together to talk with each other virtually.
By narrowing its audience, EveryBlock provides an example of journalistic opportunities that employ the concept of “place.” More refined than circulation area or broadcast territory or even “neighborhood,” place – in this context – refers to the physical space in which news happens, where hubs of heightened engagement with local audiences can be created.
Now that powerful mobile devices are ubiquitous, journalists could – and arguably should – be taking advantage of technologies that tailor interactive content to particular audiences in local settings. Such experimentation by news outlets, though, remain rare.
When your community hosts a popular annual festival, your news organization probably wouldn’t hesitate to devote significant resources to produce news about it. Read more