NYT: ‘Hyperlocal’ Web Sites Deliver News Without Newspaper

13 04 2009

There’s a rub:

A number of Web start-up companies are creating so-called hyperlocal news sites that let people zoom in on what is happening closest to them, often without involving traditional journalists. …

Of course, like traditional media, the hyperlocal sites have to find a way to bring in sufficient revenue to support their business. And so far, they have had only limited success selling ads. …

One hurdle is the need for reliable, quality content. The information on many of these sites can still appear woefully incomplete. Crime reports on EveryBlock, for example, are short on details of what happened. Links to professionally written news articles on Outside.in are mixed with trivial and sometimes irrelevant blog posts.

That raises the question of what these hyperlocal sites will do if newspapers, a main source of credible information, go out of business.

So says The New York Times, anyway.

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