Posts tagged local news

Local News is Hard to Do

Especially when it comes to swimming cats.

H/T: Mashable.

I guarantee you that the routine beat reporting of that newspaper every day produces at least a half-dozen stories that would be less interesting to the community than a half-dozen or more stories they could have done about the community events that showed support for the Devlin family. The Devlins’ health struggles have been a community story, with Scouts and schools and workplaces rallying for support in a variety of ways that were as important as the meeting stories their newspaper was covering and more interesting.

Steve Buttry, What new beats would help newsrooms cover local news better?

Buttry is referring to the death of his 16-year-old nephew, Patrick Devlin, which was never covered by the newspaper covering his metro area, except for an obituary. Devlin had been working on an Eagle Scout project at the time of his death. His sister, also seriously ill, was sent on a trip by the Make-A-Wish foundation, all of which are stories that the community would have cared about. 

FJP: Worth reading to consider what stories do and don’t matter to a community and how meaningful and efficient coverage can be achieved.

Alternative Funding for New Journalism

In this video, CUNY professor CW Anderson talks about two alternative ways to fund journalism, stressing that help can come from all different directions. His first suggestion is government funding — there’s no reason to be hesitant about it, he says, so long as monetary allocation is transparent.

The second is through foundation processes. Anderson cites the Knight Foundation, a major supporter of journalism innovation, as a good example of his vision. But private funding on a national scale is not enough — local foundations should support newsrooms and new projects in their communities and cities.

For more of Chris’s good ideas, see his other videos.

shortformblog:

jcstearns:

According to a major story by This American Life, news companies have outsourced local news production to Journatic, a company that hires underpaid workers in the Philippines, and uses fake bylines to create local news for communities in the United States.
Sign the Petitionhttp://act.freepress.net/sign/journatic
Dear Sam Zell and the Tribune Company:
Don’t sell out local journalism. Stop outsourcing local news and put out-of-work local journalists back on local beats.

Stories made for 30 to 35 cents on the dollar: Read up about this on Romenesko and listen to the clip here. If 100 percent true, this basically makes up for the Mike Daisey thing.

FJP: We flagged this earlier today for review but the podcast isn’t available until tomorrow night. Jim Romenesko though has a partial transcript here.

shortformblog:

jcstearns:

According to a major story by This American Life, news companies have outsourced local news production to Journatic, a company that hires underpaid workers in the Philippines, and uses fake bylines to create local news for communities in the United States.

Sign the Petition
http://act.freepress.net/sign/journatic

Dear Sam Zell and the Tribune Company:

Don’t sell out local journalism. Stop outsourcing local news and put out-of-work local journalists back on local beats.

Stories made for 30 to 35 cents on the dollar: Read up about this on Romenesko and listen to the clip here. If 100 percent true, this basically makes up for the Mike Daisey thing.

FJP: We flagged this earlier today for review but the podcast isn’t available until tomorrow night. Jim Romenesko though has a partial transcript here.

This is pure comedy…

The problem with canned TV news

Local TV-news stations across the country seem to think their viewers are having trouble with overwhelming tides of email.

It should come as no surprise that local TV news stations use a lot of canned material from syndicators. TImes are tough, and budgets thin. But a video montage aired on “Conan” last week, which has since gone viral, shows just how pervasive the practice has become, and just how indiscriminate many stations are about which reports they choose to air.

This was host Conan O’Brien’s lead-in last Tuesday night: “A lot of people think that Super Tuesday is the big story of the day. Well, judging by local news, apparently there’s an even bigger story that’s sweeping the nation right now.” The montage was then shown, with about 30 different anchors asking: “Could this be the end of email overload?” The report focuses on Shortmail, a program created by a company called 410 Labs. The product, which has been called “Twitter for email,” promises to solve the supposed “overload” problem by limiting emails to 500 characters.

At least 225 stations aired the report. It was produced by CNN Newsource, which is sort of like an Associated Press for TV news (and which, like Fortune, is owned by Time Warner (TWX)). The montage included the introductions to 30 of those reports. The hilarity grew as the well-coiffed anchors’ identical intros piled up. The report has the benefit of meeting the minimum definition of “real news.” Meaning, it wasn’t a video news release dressed up to look like an actual report; nor was it stealth product placement presented as news.

Read the entire story at Fortune.

Man Killed to Death.

Man Killed to Death.

A new Pew Internet and American Life Project survey explores how people learn about their local communities.
Our friend the newspaper still leads the way. Most don’t recognize that though.
Via Pew:

On the surface, most people do not feel that their local newspaper is a key source that they rely on for local information. For instance, when asked, “If your local newspaper no longer existed, would that have a major impact, a minor impact, or no impact on your ability to keep up with information and news about your local community?” a large majority of Americans, 69%, believe the death of their local newspaper would have no impact (39%) or only a minor impact (30%) on their ability to get local information.
Younger adults, age 18-29, were especially unconcerned. Fully 75% say their ability to get local information would not be affected in a major way by the absence of their local paper. The same was true of heavier technology users: 74% of home broadband users say losing their paper would have no impact or only a minor impact on their ability to get local information.
Yet when asked about specific local topics and which sources they rely on for that information, it turns out that many adults are quite reliant on newspapers and their websites. Of the 16 specific local topics queried, newspapers ranked as the most, or tied as the most, relied upon source for 11 of the 16. 

Image: Via Six Revisions.

A new Pew Internet and American Life Project survey explores how people learn about their local communities.

Our friend the newspaper still leads the way. Most don’t recognize that though.

Via Pew:

On the surface, most people do not feel that their local newspaper is a key source that they rely on for local information. For instance, when asked, “If your local newspaper no longer existed, would that have a major impact, a minor impact, or no impact on your ability to keep up with information and news about your local community?” a large majority of Americans, 69%, believe the death of their local newspaper would have no impact (39%) or only a minor impact (30%) on their ability to get local information.

Younger adults, age 18-29, were especially unconcerned. Fully 75% say their ability to get local information would not be affected in a major way by the absence of their local paper. The same was true of heavier technology users: 74% of home broadband users say losing their paper would have no impact or only a minor impact on their ability to get local information.

Yet when asked about specific local topics and which sources they rely on for that information, it turns out that many adults are quite reliant on newspapers and their websites. Of the 16 specific local topics queried, newspapers ranked as the most, or tied as the most, relied upon source for 11 of the 16. 

Image: Via Six Revisions.

nycdigital:

Using data released by the Office of Emergency Management, WNYC, The New York Times and NYC Oasis have made excellent interactive maps with Hurricane Evacuation Zones and Centers.

To think some suggest local news isn’t fascinating.

shortformblog:

Gorilla vs. Banana: Guess who won. (Hint: Someone slipped.)

This is the best story ever. And it involves a guy in a gorilla costume getting tackled by another guy in a banana costume. And a 911 call. And a manager who looks like he’s phsyched about the free publicity the incident just gave his store. And a gorilla. And a banana. And this line: ”The kid was in mid-air, flying. He just looked like a Spartan from that movie ‘300,’ except he was a banana.” (h/t ProducerMatthewsource

Half of all adults get local news or information on a cell phone or tablet computer.
Source: Pew Internet Survey.

Half of all adults get local news or information on a cell phone or tablet computer.

Source: Pew Internet Survey.

Monday's List: The Value of Local News

Obvious when you think about it but good to keep in mind: local news value from low to high via Local News Initiative.

  • Tier 1: COMMERCIAL - If it bleeds, it leads
  • Tier 2: STAGED - It usually sounds like news…
  • Tier 3: CULTURAL RESONANCE - the cultural fabric of the community
  • Tier 4: LOCAL IMPACT/NATIONAL - connecting with the nation and the world
  • Tier 5: LOCAL MEANING - resonance, trends, lasting impact

Click through for explanations and examples.