Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How local is too local?

It's been said that while newspapers as traditional dead-tree editions/bird-cage liners are dying, Americans are consuming more news than ever. They, myself included, are just consuming it in different ways.

Much has been said about blogs but they, for the most part, seem to fall in to three general categories including political opinions, news opinions/rehashings and personal happenings/musings. While they apparently (and I can attest to it) have a niche that people will be drawn to, they do little to further the coverage of news because 99% of the time the blogs discussing news and politics base their takes on these events on the original coverage of major and traditional news-gathering outlets.

My conundrum is this: How would a news outlet (hypothetically in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis) reach a neighborhood whose residents choose, for whatever reason, to not associate themselves or said neighborhood with the city it and they reside in? Let's also say that by distance alone, the neighborhood itself is separated from the core of this particular city. The bulk of this neighborhood's residents are commuters and despite repeated efforts, the city's main print media outlet has tried but failed to reach them in a traditional format. How, then, do you attract this lucrative but somewhat small amount of residents and deliver pertinent news and advertising messages to them?

The main approach being discussed is electronic only. Which way(s) would you like to receive news (and entertaining content) if you were a busy suburban household who only lived in an area and hadn't associated with this portion of the community? You probably don't know or even see your neighbors, moved to this area for (relative) housing affordability and your kids (if you have any) may not even attend schools in the city which your neighborhood technically is in.

Would you like to get specific news from area communities which affects your neighborhood? Would you like short videos about the news and the people in your neighborhood? Would you contribute your own photos and feedback on the news stories from the professionals who cover the news? Would you contribute even the occasional blog post? Would you want it light-hearted, serious or a mix of both or something entirely different?

Tell me your thoughts on how to best reach these (hypothetical) folks.


Dorky Dad said...

I read about something today in which a company is releasing a site where you can search for news based on your zip code. I think that's right. It'll show you news, crime reports, etc. Interesting stuff.

No said...

I think local news about what is going on in the neighborhood is good; helps connect commuter people together; that is the biggest downfall about leaving in the metro area, in my opinion (of course, I wish I was still there at times, but it's nice to have that local feel again)...

Anonymous said...

David Brauer of MinnPost had a good article about this: