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Digital Partnerships Could Revive, Energize Local Media

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By Diane Mermigas

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The pending hardship closure of The San Francisco Chronicle would leave the first major city in the U.S. without a daily newspaper. At the same time, The Huffington Post has been eyeing the hyperlocal Web site Outside.in as a way to monetize its online brand in local communities. It is a troubling schism.

Local news, interests and connections between consumers and advertisers are at the heart of both the failing traditional media saddled with legacy costs and the nimble Web-based contenders. The value of all things local has been woefully underestimated. It has been devalued in print and television, which can’t quite make the leap to digital, and botched on the Internet–where it seems impossible to capitalize on the hyperpersonal in bloggers and tweeters run amok.

What could be more relevant than what is going on in consumers’ own backyard? Institutional media (newspapers and TV stations) has failed to connect with local as it is being redefined by consumers who are obsessing over the interactive ME-dia they care about most: their needs, family and friends.

“The future of local is intensely personal. It is about what is within 1,000 feet of where you stand. Local is centered on the individual,” says Outside.in CEO Mark Josephson.

Intimate, interactive local–that most newspaper and TV stations have failed to tap and that the Internet has barely explored–is coming too late for some. The widespread collapse of newspapers and TV stations that is just beginning will stretch into 2010. Rocky Mountain News was shuttered Friday after 150 years.

Click here to read the rest of the story from Media Post

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Written by Casey McConnell

March 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Posted in new media

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