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Since time immemorial (or at least the mid-’90s), tech and media companies believed that if you rolled up hundreds of tiny hyper-local news sites it would make a boffo business. So many tried and failed, from AOL’s DigitalCities to Backfence to Microsoft Sidewalk to AOL again with Patch in the 2000s. The lesson again and again was that hyper-locals just don’t scale because then they become a chain, not unlike the newspaper chains that have hit the skids over the past decade. Now that Patch is only a shadow of itself after being spun out from AOL and shedding hundreds of employees, some of Patch’s old employees have struck out on their own, showing commitment to producing local news , according to a Nieman Lab report. Hyper-locals distinguished themselves by focusing and providing in-depth coverage of a specific community — like Brick City Live does with Newark, New Jersey. Publisher and editor Andaiye Taylor started the site in 2013 as a response to a spate of shootings and the media coverage of those shootings. She writes: “ I started Brick City Live as a corrective. ” And the same disruption that’s hit national news networks are also affecting local news sites. We’ll discuss hyper-local news on this week’s podcast with guests Barry Parr, publisher of the Coastsider; Laura Rich,CEO of Street Fight Magazine; Dylan Smith, editor and publisher of TucsonSentinel.com and chairman of the Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION); and Andaiye Taylor, publisher and editor of Brick City Live. MediaShift’s Mark Glaser will host, with Jefferson Yen producing.

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