Sunday, September 20, 2009

'The future of local news can be secured if we embrace blogging and put it at the centre of a new journalism network'

It's been a while since we've commented on the pains of the newspaper industry and especially the threats that local newspapers face (hopefully the Nairnshire will remain the exception to the rule). Anyway Iright sent me a link to an interesting article by Jeff Jarvis that was published in the Guardian. He sees the future for local news as a giant network built upon 'hyperlocal bloggers'. He thinks there could be a lot of cash out there for the taking. Mmmmm, the offers aren't exactly pouring in here at Gurn H.Q. Jeff.
'Or to put it another way: will there be a market demand for journalism? Can the market meet this demand? And who will pay for the journalism we need? These are business questions and so we sought business answers in research with a wide range of news companies.
The most startling and hopeful number we found is this: some hyperlocal bloggers, serving markets of about 50,000 people, are bringing in up to $200,000 a year in advertising. These are sustainable businesses and we believe they are critical elements of the future of local news – a future no longer controlled by a single newspaper but instead by an ecosystem made up of many players with varying motives, means and models, working collaboratively in networks.'
It's an interesting article but perhaps a tad optimistic about how hundreds perhaps thousands of people could earn their living from blogging.
'Bottom line: after three years, we project that a blogger could hire editorial staff and advertising help – citizen salespeople who help support the citizen journalists – and net $148,000 out of $332,000 revenue. That's a conservative estimate when you consider that a community weekly paper in such a town probably earns between $2m-$5m.'
Worth a read perhaps, here's the Guardian page. In the meantime if anyone wants to invest a million in the Gurn please get in touch. Seriously it may never make money but citizen journalism is here to stay and will have an increasing effect in the future. Let's not forget that we are fortunate to have a 'Hyperlocal' weekly paper too.


Unknown said...

The offers won't come in. You need to go out and sell and serve local merchants. Or get someone to sell for you (citizen sales, we call it.)

Graisg said...

Cheers Jeff,
That's funny, I was having a laugh and joke the other day with our dear Doctor Grigor who offered to put on a suit and do the very thing :-)

dr-grigor said...

suit ready pressed an ready for action............. dont forget infact the doc was a door to door salesman in Dubai back in the 80's