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Hyperlocal news shifting focus from journalists’ to readers’ interests, but ultimately advertisers’ interests will come first. 7/2/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Advertising revenues, Hyperlocal news.
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It occurs to me that while much of the discussion in these days of newspaper cutbacks continues to be how to maintain content journalists want, those focused on hyperlocal news are focused on what readers want. For example, in this article by Steve Outing the hyperlocalists consider how to satisfy the news interests of a single person without kids to whom dog parks and train delays are the most important news items.

Focusing on readers is a step in the right direction, but not the final step. While it is painful for many journalists to hear, what will ultimately matter most in the no-paid-subscription, online-news-world to come is what is best for advertisers. If a train schedule can draw substantial advertising from the rail service or similar businesses related to train travel, it will be a candidate for inclusion. If dog park information can draw ads from sellers of pet products, it may also be a candidate. In journalism-think, news must be completely separate from the interests of advertisers. But in the emerging newspaper-business-think, in an environment where advertisers and not subscribers pay the bills, advertiser is king.

Comments»

1. Jen Sorlie - 7/14/08

I think there’s more of a common ground to be reached here, especially when you consider the similarlity of the needs of advertisers and audiences.
Both are looking for something specific—the audience seeks relevant content while the advertiser seeks a relevant audience. Meanwhile, the publishers want to deliver focused content, yet they must rely on advertisers. If the publication truly can understand who their audience is (i.e. via verified data, such as a media audit), then they can both provide the specific content their audience wants as well as provide advertisers with the data they need to make targeted marketing decsions and can more easily justify an ad spend.

2. The Fight Against Destructive Spin » Blog Archive » Make your pitches hyperlocal - 11/4/08

[…] hyperlocalism. It’s all the rage in journalism, with local media outlets focusing more on the local part of reporting. The stories that matter to people in communities are the ones that happen in and affect those […]

3. The Fight Against Destructive Spin » Blog Archive » Make your pitches hyperlocal - 4/1/09

[…] to you hyperlocalism. It’s all the rage in journalism, with local media outlets focusing more on the local part of reporting. The stories that matter to people in communities are the ones that happen in and affect those […]


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