31 July 2007

Keys to Success Suggested for Local Online Papers

A comprehensive local events calendar, extensive local video coverage and a string of paid freelance contributors are keys to online success for local newspapers, Internet journalist and entrepreneur Robin Miller writes in a recent Online Journalism Review article.

Miller warns that newspapers can’t rely only on their local brand recognition to dominate online news in their communities. Anyone with a good idea and basic technical savvy can compete successfully. ‘The real question is not whether we will see the development of dominant local online news operations run by Web-hip publishers and editors,’ he says, ‘but whether those Web-hip publishers and editors will work for existing local newspapers or for new, Web-only publications that eventually replace newspapers as the dominant source of local news.’

However, he predicts, a newspaper that is savvy about its online offering and that puts ‘the same amount of energy and budget into promoting it as it does into drumming up print subscribers,’ should not only be profitable but ‘may eventually be able to make its website replace profits lost as its print edition loses steam.’

More suggestions and details are available at www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/070724miller/

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