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Suzanne McBride, AustinTalks & ChicagoTalks

Hyper-Local News

Suzanne McBride (Part One)Suzanne McBride, associate chair and coordinator of AustinTalks.org and ChicagoTalks.org discusses collaboration between niche and traditional media.

The old models of competing for audiences are going by the wayside as media outlets, bloggers and online news outlets figure out how readers want their news. From AOL’s Patch.com to smaller online news start-ups, communities are covering their areas and issues in ways mainstream media often do not.  The Internet is offering niche media a way to flourish.

Yet, how can niche media compete successfully with mainstream media for audience allegiances?

Suzanne McBride, associate chair and coordinator for ChicagoTalks.org and AustinTalks.org, says her role in this emerging information eco-sphere, where technology meets leather-shoe journalism, comes down to collaboration.

As attractive as niche news has become, sustainability has been the dominant conversation. Hyper-locals, such as Chi-Town Daily News, are vulnerable in a tight economic market full of short attention spans if there is no sound economic model created for them. Limited liability companies, or L3Cs, is a model that has been kicked around but isn’t catching on.  McBride says the model created to sustain hyper-locals will be “the holy grail.”

Holy Grail For Us All: Economic Models

Suzanne McBride, associate chair and coordinator of AustinTalks.org and ChicagoTalks.org discusses economic factors among hyper-locals.

Currently, hyper-locals are gauging audience’s interest for their content using site analytics and comment participation. However, McBride says hopefully in the future a hyper-local’s presence will affect the civil discourse in a community.


Measuring Impact of Local News

Suzanne McBride, associate chair and coordinator of AustinTalks.org and ChicagoTalks.org discusses the impact hyper-locals can have on communities.

“At some point we are going to have to stop segmenting and compartmentalizing—the hyper-local new media sites vs. mainstream media,” says McBride. When it comes to providing news, she believes there are countless stories to be told.

Category: 2010 NEW News Report, 2010 Report Section 5

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