Leveraging the power of communities: How local journalism is ahead of the game

The challenges local news publishers and newsrooms face are more prominent than ever due to an increasingly digital environment dominated by major platforms and mobile, but they also have distinct advantages over national publications that will help them survive. Paramount is local publishers’ strong relationship with their readers. That trusted bond, paired with innovative solutions, will help local publishers get ahead of the digitalization of the industry.

Key Points

  • Where they could once rely on a business model based solely on advertising, local news is being seriously challenged to look beyond it to generate new revenue streams.
  • Transitioning to digital is still a challenge for many small publishers due to the issues of distribution, monetization, and technology.
  • The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism recently published the “Digital Adaptation in Local News” report, where it highlights that “About one in ten local news outlets do not have a website.”
  • But creating a digital solution that offers a good user experience, access to quality content, and introduces new revenue models is paramount.
  • One strength is the trust placed in local journalism – a recent Poynter Media Trust Survey reported that “76 percent of Americans across the political spectrum have ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ of trust in their local television news, and 73 percent have confidence in local newspapers.
  • And while a community does not necessarily equate revenue, a trusting audience will be willing to try different routes to help a valued element of the community.
  • Trust should work both ways: readers must be able to trust local content, and they deserve this trust back. Combining trust with choice empowers the reader to make a decision that fits with their reading habits.
  • The key to success here is making these purchases as easy for the reader as buying a paper on their way to work.

Check out my full blog post here.

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