Local, global and recession

I’ve been reading some articles about local and global news, how the recession is affecting news organizations, how to adapt to the new reality etc. There’re some parts of some of them. It’s interesting to notice how everything is connected.

In Why global is the new local, Mike Elgan observes that newspapers are stuck on the old model: covering everything, they don’t cover efficiently a more important story. He says that newspapers delude themselves into thinking that readers read nothing else. And more:

Now that the Internet has killed ‘local’,  the survival adjustment that radio and newspaper companies must make is to cover local events for a global audience. Radio stations and newspapers must now consider the larger, newer audience, and stop the bigoted pandering. And they must also stop covering the larger world. (…) It’s time the so-called local media opened its eyes to the new reality: Nothing is local anymore. And it’s a huge opportunity. The new mantra should be: Cover local events exclusively, but for a global audience.”

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Ok, but we’ve been just repeating this mantra and we still have a question: how about money? This isn’t answered about Internet until now. David Wesphal, in Recession? Local news sites are hanging tough, shows some profitable (and rare, I guess) examples:

Local news sites come in all sizes and shapes. Some are non-profits. Some aren’t trying to live off the operation. But for those who are, some survivable wages are being earned. Tracy Record and Patrick Sand, another husband/wife team who operate West Seattle Blog, are getting revenue in the high five figures. Debbie Galant, co-owner of Baristanet, earned more from the site than she did from her free-lance writing business last year. And Bob Gough, who runs Quincy News, pockets $1,000 a week in wages from his startup that serves an Illinois community of only 40,000.

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The Guardian's Open Platform

The Guardian's Open Platform

So what bigger news organizations are doing? Unfortunately, I don’t have all business’ knowledge I’d like to analyse, but they are going out the old model – like NYT’s The Local or The Guardian’s Open Platform, launched this week (have you tried? I’m still curious about that). It’s a service that allows partners to reuse guardian.co.uk content and data for free and weave it “into the fabric of the internet” – allow users to build their own applications in return for carrying Guardian advertising, the website explains. You can check an example of this service use here.

Journalism.co.uk says: “It is a first-of-a-kind launch for a UK newspaper publisher, to open up its data and content for free reproduction and adaptation by its developer partners (…) The move is clearly seen as a cultural shift for the publication, which hopes to use the development in its bid to become the leading ‘global liberal voice’;  all part of the ‘Guardian Everywhere’ strategy, director of technology development, Mike Bracken, added.

On February, NYT lauched its open API, and Paul Bradshaw wrote about an example of its use. I have to explore this idea better…

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And who was in a older model is learning and adapting their skills now, like Lois Draegin. She was an editor at TV Guide before she got laid off and now has an internship to help her build internet skills (read here).


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