Hyperlocal News Sites: A Threat or Opportunity for Budding Journalists?

April 23, 2009

Hyperlocal news start-ups like Everyblock and Placeblogger are a great way to keep people interested in local news, and it’s in their biggest flaw that future journalism school graduates (like me) can see it as an opportunity.

Often, people are more interested in state, national and international events than local events, but by aggregating the news on these hyperlocal sites, locals might sustain interest in the events happening right around them.  The problem with a site that is full of aggregation and short on original reporting is that we all lose out on exposes that have kept politicians in check and companies honest for decades.

That’s where journalism graduates come in — we can help provide more original reporting for these sites, that is, if someone will pay us to do the reporting.  With Everyblock now covered by a $1.1 million grant from the Knight Foundation, there’s hope that budding journalists might still have a place to report.  After all, without journalists, hyperlocal news sites will have nothing to aggregate.


This is an in-class assignment for my J502 online class answering this question:

Are hyperlocal news start-ups a threat or an opportunity for future Jschool graduates? Why or why not?


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