Michele McLellan spent her time at the Reynolds Journalism Institute exploring the growing trend of local news sites. She looked at how these sites can succeed in a world of conglomerates and corporate-owned media.
McLellan looked into the future of these kinds of sites, including the notion of bloggers versus journalists. McLellan determined that it’s not really an either/or scenario; more and more journalists are willing to work with citizen sites to cover community news.
She put together a list of local news sites to get a better understanding of what’s out there. She found there are many diverse models. “Local News Sites: Ongoing Trends” highlights examples of these niche sites.
McLellan conducted research with some of the owners of these local sites to see how they make money from community news. Many of the sites are profitable, but some rely on grants and donations to keep running. McLellan explored ways these sites can become sustainable and how advertising models can be used to keep these sites operating.
What’s important to these news sites? McLellan found that most sites are interested in producing original news and building community engagement. The videos below offer information on what two particular sites are doing to stay current and successful.