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Posts Tagged ‘online local news’

Philadelphia-Based News Outlet Brother.ly In the Works

cropped-cpij300x100It was a bummer to hear about the shutdown of Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome in April. But former editor-in-chief Jim Brady is moving onto another local news experiment this fall.

USA Today’s Rem Rieder reported yesterday that Brady will launch a for-profit Philadelphia-centric editorial project called Brother.ly after DFM’s failed attempt at producing community journalism on a national scale.

Brother.ly has a staff of six, which will produce original reporting, as well as aggregate and curate web content. They also plan to pursue partnerships with other local outlets.

The initiative will also be incubated by Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism. Brotherly.ly is intended to replace AxisPhilly, which enjoyed some success but couldn’t be financially sustained.

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New Book, Local News Lab Highlight Rev Strategies For Community Journalism

SavingCommJourA book released by the University of North Carolina press, “Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability” by Penelope Muse Abernathy, highlights the challenges surrounding local news operations and offers recommendations on how newspapers can “build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue.”

Abernathy is Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC and a professional journalist with more than 30 years experience in the news biz, so she knows what she’s talking about. More importantly, she’s another prominent writer, researcher and educator proving that no, journalism is not dead, and yes, print can thrive at the local level. Her book, hot off the presses in April 2014, is an important one for newsroom leaders frustrated by dipping print revs and disengaged readership.

In the same vein, Josh Stearns launched the long-awaited Local News Lab last week with the help of the Dodge and Knight Foundations. The project is intended to be one big experiment in community journalism with the question, “How can local news outlets make money and keep the locals interested in what they’re doing?” as a foundation. What will become of newspaper subscriptions? How much will events play into local newsroom revenue? What about corporate sponsorships?

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4 Musts for Doing Quality Online Local News

Given the corporate turmoil and massive cuts playing out before us at AOL’s Patch, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what went wrong with the local news provider. They had the bodies, tools and platform to do good local journalism, but their model became unsustainable.

I’ve been working for an all-digital local news startup for the better part of a year, and these are a few of the essentials I think must be in place for success on the Web, on the local level. Of course, these notions are based on my own personal experience. Feel free to respond either in favor or against any of my propositions.

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