WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Hyperlocal News Coverage

Jul 24, 2012

The panelists talk about hyperlocal news coverage and The New York Times' decision to end its affiliation with a couple hyperlocal blogs.

Hyperlocal news coverage reports stories down to the neighborhood level. One of the concerns with the idea is whether there is enough money to support such coverage.

Shop Talk Panelist Mike Murray said his father edited a small town newspaper that included news from a variety of tiny communities in the region. It could be considered an early version of what is now referred to as hyperlocal coverage.

However, the paper did not do it for the money because there was little if any money to be made from those small towns. Murray said the newspaper did the reporting because it was the socially responsible thing to do.

Panelist Lisa Kernek pointed out that small, family-run newspapers are generally doing the best right now because they have a niche - they are covering small towns for which larger papers have no interest.

Kernek said The New York Times' niche is global and national coverage - no one subscribes to the Times to read neighborhood news - so it's not surprising to learn the paper is ending its hyperlocal experiment.