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Nieman Lab Surveys California’s Shifting Media Landscape

The overriding takeaway from Ken Doctor‘s look at the radical economics of California news gathering is already obvious to anyone doing the gathering. It’s all about digital synergies.

From Russ Stanton‘s jump to a public radio station on a Tony Pierce-led Internet blog blitz, to the confirmation this week that the Bay Citizen is merging with California Watch, print is warming up the deathbed. Doctor also takes the California temperature of Patch, which currently operates 132 hubs across the Golden State:

Many of the sites are lively, with good features, calendars, and lots of local, if episodic, bloggers–even if the sites don’t come close to living up to Patch’s tagline: “Hi there, we’re Patch, your source for local knowledge you can’t live without.”…

AOL, of course, won’t release traffic data, but its latest financial report showed that its $120 million investment isn’t close to bringing in enough ad revenue. That’s confirmed by checking on the sites (national ads prevail) or attending a local Patch-sponsored community meeting, as I did last Friday. Second question from the audience: “Why don’t you have local ads?”

Doctor points in the San Diego market at the Voice of San Diego’s partnership with the local NBC affiliate as yet another example of how the media lines are getting Internet-blurred. Good read.

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