New Book Examines Local News Success Stories

The Wired City, a book by Dan Kennedy that came out this year, examines some successful independent local news sites. The most prominent example he cites is the New Haven Independent, a personal favorite run by longtime journalist Paul Bass. That site is remarkable for its community engagement and high standards.

Bass started the site in 2005 with this motto: “Power of the press now belongs not to those who own one, but to those who own a modem.We own a modem.”

The Wired City also examines sites like The Batavian in upstate New York and The Voice of San Diego.

It’s always smart to examine how successful entrepreneurs got started. The Batavian’s Howard Owens posted his 10 tips for founding a site here.

Great Hyperlocal Journalism: Weiner Hits Home, or How to Localize a National Story

The press has been on a feeding frenzy over the scandal involving now former Congressman Anthony Weiner and his decision to sext pictures of himself to random women. It’s a story with national implications, but it also impacts tens of thousands of Weiner’s constituents who are now left without a congressman. That story isn’t as sexy, and it’s not going to get anywhere near the same press that Weiner’s pictures of his (ahem!) got. Continue reading »

Hyperlocal Lessons From The Huffpost Deal

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington

On Monday, AOL announced that it had agreed to buy the Huffington Post for $315 million. The deal is worth watching for hyperlocal editors, if only because there’s a new boss at Patch.com, the most ambitious corporate version of hyperlocal news in the country. Patch runs about 800 hyperlocal sites across the country, including some in New York (mostly in Queens and Brooklyn). Continue reading »

How to Report About Snow

- New York Blizzard Snowstorm Blargfest

Dec. 26 blizzard, by Dan Nguyen via flickr.

Snow coverage in mainstream news outlets, particularly on television, tends to follow a predictable and extremely lame script. A man or woman stands outside, generally near a highway, and reports that it is, in fact, snowing. Then the intrepid reporter interviews people about the snow, and those people are either bemused, or frustrated that it happens to snow during the winter.

But just because TV news fails at reporting on the weather, that doesn’t mean that the weather isn’t news. Continue reading »