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Two choices for metro journalists: Be the best or be local 4/15/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Competition, Journalism, Local, Metro.
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To survive, most metro-area jourmalists will need to adopt the mindset that “all news is local,” to borrow from an observation made about politics by late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. Lucas Grindley notes an incident demonstrating that no movie critic is immune from being replaced with AP content. In fact, this is but one symptom of a much broader future problem for metro-area journalists. Unless the topic is specifically about a local issue, they must now compete against all other online writers on that topic, from any source in the English-speaking world. It’s not just movies. It is also editorials on domestic and foreign affairs, human interest stories, columnists, and much more. Readership will coalesce around the work of the most talented writers in the Anglosphere in a free market process that will show no particular deference to metro-area boundaries. So unless a writer is a national or world-class expert in their topic, it is safest to stick with local news stories and angles.

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