Emerging economics of community news

Source Michele McLellan for The State of the News Media 2011 on March 14, 2011 0 Comments Experiments
Community news, Michele McLellan
"Emerging Economics of Community News," from The State of the News Media.

It is easy to oversimplify what is happening in online news. Breathless headlines — from the $315 million sale of The Huffington Post to AOL,Patch’s march to 1,000 plus local sites, to the early dismantling of TBD.com in Washington, D.C. – tend to obscure other important efforts, especially on the local front.

Commitment and a sense of community far outdistance celebrity or cash in the emerging news ecosystem. But increased learning about what doesn’t work and sophistication about what might work offers a promise that more local news sites will stay alive and grow.

To be sure, many local news startups have failed. That has led to fears that there is no business model for local news online.

I see growing evidence, however, that those fears may be proved false. In any field, most experiments do fail, and in the dynamic online news space, it’s pretty much all experimentation right now. Failed news experiments have taught us a few things about what doesn’t work: Armies of citizen contributors will not replace all journalists, for example. Journalism savvy does not translate into business savvy. Grants are not a stable or enduring funding model.

Read more


Add Your Comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Filtered words will be replaced with the filtered version of the word.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

You don't have to log in to leave a comment, but please leave your name.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.