Articles about "Hyperlocal"


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How mobile devices are creating hyperlocal opportunities

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.… Read more

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Local reporting is suffering from a ‘gradual erosion’

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.… Read more

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Copy-spaced image of a young man drinking morning coffee and reading the newspaper at home (Depositphotos)

Why is local news innovation struggling financially while national thrives?

On the national level, we’ve seen an exciting burst of investment and innovation in digital news.

The New York Times crowed that “Web News Is Thriving,” the evidence being that Ezra Klein, the wonk’s wonk, is starting an explanatory journalism venture at Vox Media. This comes soon after the news that eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is doing a massive $250 million investment in a new journalism project. And the success of BuzzFeed, Upworthy and Huffington Post has showed that content oriented sites can be business successes.

But the headlines are bleaker when it comes to local news. With a fresh round of layoffs, Patch has now purged three-quarters of its workforce. Main Street Connect, a platform for local news that got much attention a few years ago, filed for bankruptcy in May 2013.… Read more

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In EveryBlock’s legacy, the promise and limits of hyperlocal success

Hyperlocal news and community discussion site EveryBlock closed Thursday, as NBC News announced it struggled to become profitable and was not a “strategic fit.”

The closing was a surprise to everyone outside the company, and many people immediately began discussing the journalism and technology legacy of EveryBlock and what, if anything, might succeed in its wake.

Dan Sinker, head of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, says “we’re all living in Everyblock’s world now“:

The impact of Everyblock goes far beyond the traffic to the site itself. Everyblock is one of those ideas that bent the world in a new way when it came around. One of those ideas that felt both so obvious and so ingenious simultaneously, that it looked *easy* when it was anything but.

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The hard truths of hyperlocal journalism reveal themselves in Journatic trouble

It’s become clear that Journatic has some problems: Using incorrect or fictional bylines, plus plagiarism and fabrication of news.

But what if it didn’t?

Could Journatic’s model of cost-efficient outsourced journalism offer a viable future for hyperlocal news? If its ethics and standards of quality were exemplary, would it otherwise serve a community’s needs?

Most signs say: no.

You can’t be hyperlocal while hyperdistant

Journatic founder Brian Timpone told Poynter in April that “being based in the community is not beneficial” to local journalism.

But when I look around at hyperlocal success stories, many are driven by the will and personal commitment of a local individual. The Batavian is Howard Owens. Tracy Record is West Seattle Blog. That’s not to say others don’t contribute, but the sites wouldn’t exist or sustain themselves without individual dedication.… Read more

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How hyperlocal sites handle ‘micro-news’ in their communities

We’ve become familiar with the way Journatic — and the news organizations that outsource to it — are gathering and publishing local “micro-news” like school lunch menus, death notices, high school sports scores and real estate transactions. But we wondered: How else is this information being compiled?

To find out, I checked with some independent, online-only local news publishers. I asked them if they include this sort of content on their sites and how they collect it.

Tracy Record of West Seattle Blog said via email that her site handles this type of news in a variety of ways. High school sports coverage, for instance, is sometimes reported by attending games, or information might be pulled from schools’ websites and Twitter. Not every game can be covered, so Record said they depend on their own judgment and readers’ input to point them to the most newsworthy contests.… Read more

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Chicago Tribune discovers plagiarism, suspends work with Journatic

Vouchification | Chicago Tribune | Williamsburg Yorktown Daily | Illinois Times | Gazebo News
One of Journatic’s editorial leaders, Mike Fourcher, announced Saturday morning that he has resigned from the outsourcing company because he and the company’s founders “fundamentally disagree about ethical and management issues as they relate to a successful news business.” Journatic said late Saturday that it had planned to fire Fourcher before he resigned.

In a phone interview, Fourcher said, “I’m upset because I believe what Journatic was originally conceived to do was a good idea. It went off track.” Fourcher, who was with the company just 10 weeks, said “what we’re seeing is the result of a misguided set of priorities. Writers and editors are implicitly discouraged from doing high quality work for the sake of efficiency and making more money.… Read more

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Hyperlocal news sites mature as founders of Baristanet, Dallas South News move on

In as many months, two pioneers of hyper-local news websites have decided to leave those sites for jobs in the public sector. Debbie Galant, who launched Baristanet.com eight years ago, announced earlier this week that she’s accepted a job at Montclair State University, and last month Shawn P. Williams left the site he founded three years ago, DallasSouthNews.org, to work in the Dallas Mayor’s office as a digital media strategist.

What do the departures say about the maturity of independently owned and produced hyper-local news?

The sites are based on different business models: Dallas South News is a non-profit focusing mostly on blacks and Latinos living in the Southern sector of Dallas, Texas, while Baristanet – focused on several suburban towns in Northern New Jersey – has been profitable basically since year one, the founders told Poynter.… Read more

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Departure of Baristanet founder doesn’t portend changes, says editor

With founder Debbie Galant taking a new job at Montclair State University, where she’ll join “an ambitious effort to nurture digital and hyperlocal journalism in New Jersey,” Baristanet co-owner Liz George now has a busier summer ahead of her.

But George said she doesn’t expect major changes in the hyperlocal site’s coverage or approach.

“We have such a mix of voices, I don’t think there’s going to be a dramatic change,” she said in a phone interview. “We have a sensibility that we’ve worked on for eight years, throughout the site.”

In the past several months, George said she and Galant spent most of their time managing the business and handling editorial issues, with some writing interspersed. She said it wasn’t a full-time job for either of them, though of course it will be harder with Galant gone and contributors away on summer vacations.… Read more

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Schachter: ‘Hyperlocal is not what the New York Times’ business is about’

Capital New York | Nieman Journalism Lab
Capital New York’s Joe Pompeo reports that The New York Times will end “The Local,” its two hyperlocal collaborations with New York University and CUNY, and the schools will take over the two sites.

The Times started The Local, Pompeo writes, “at a time when ‘hyperlocal’ was becoming the industry buzzword of the moment. This was back in March 2009, when AOL’s Patch was still in its infancy and there seemed to be lots of promise for a new breed of community news sites that would scale by selling targeted local online advertising, an end that has proven more difficult to achieve in practice.”

Pompeo’s take on what happened:

The sites ceased to be a priority for a news organization with no shortage of priorities, including a growing list of new web initiatives that have been rolling out as readers continue to adapt to the paid digital model implemented by the Times last year.

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