It’s no secret that the industry as a whole – and local media particularly – is struggling to move away from ads and make the shift to digital. Financially, many local media organizations have seen a downturn in recent years. However, the audience’s perception is quite different, with the Pew Research Center of Journalism and Media reporting that 71% of U.S. adults think their local news media are doing well financially.
- Audiences have followed local media online – 89% of U.S. adults get local news in some form digitally – but revenue has not made this shift.
- The Reuters Institute Digital News Report also points out that news is just one form of subscription media, and not the one most people are going for.
- People value local journalism, but they don’t pay for it due to the wide-spread availability of free content.
- It’s time for local media to make it known that reader support is needed to sustain their services, and restrict access to at least some of their content in order to get people to pay.
- The more users face payment requests on their local media channels, the stronger the message. And it’s inevitable that users will have to contribute financially one way or another in order for local media organizations to thrive again.