WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Hyperlocal and Al Jazeera

Aug 27, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a couple issues: hyperlocal news and the new Al Jazeera America network.

USA Today reported that AOL’s Patch hyperlocal news operation is struggling. As Ron Rieder wrote in that piece, hyperlocal is "...a very tough place to make a buck.”

Shop Talk panelist Rich Egger finds it odd that huge companies are trying to set up hyperlocal news operations across the country. He feels the name “hyperlocal” suggests the entire production is, well, local

Panelist Lisa Kernek believes hyperlocal startups are running into the same problem as all media – they have not figured out how to produce enough ad revenue online.  She also said the local newspaper usually serves as the hyperlocal media in small towns.

Regarding the recently launched Al Jazeera America, panelist Jasmine Garcia said the cable TV channel seems to be hiring American journalists who are already well-respected. She thinks those reporters will bring some legitimacy to the network.

Kernek is interested to see if the network follows through on its stated goal of focusing on storytelling and reporting rather than relying on talking heads and pundits.