Local media predictions for 2010

Hah, look at me giving my predictions for local media. What the hell do I know about local media?!

Anyway, at news:rewired Heather Christie jumped on me (metaphorically, not physically – that would have been weird) and asked me my local media predicitons for 2010, along with panel-mates Sarah Hartley of Guardian Local and Joanna Geary of Times Online. The sound didn’t turn out well so I thought I’d post my predictions here for all to read.

  • Hyperlocal will find it’s business model. That’s right, folks you heard it here… again, probably. If it’s going to happen (and that is an if) it’ll be this year in my opinion. I’m certainly not going to be sticking around for too long unless we can make this pay – it takes too much time to rely on volunteers all the time, in my opinion.
  • Pay-walls will fail miserably. Okay, this is more of a wish than prediction but I want pay-walls (in local media) to demonstrate their unyeilding ability to complete finish off the profitability of exising local media who choose to charge their customers. Charging for access after years of free access is moving the goal posts – never an overly welcome move – and will, I predict, face a grass-roots rebellion. Ooh, that’s fighting talk!
  • We’ll see real collaboration. Existing media and grass-roots hyperlocal efforts will show what they can actually get done together, in truly mutually beneficial ways that help sustain them both.

I might be very, very wrong. 😉





2 responses to “Local media predictions for 2010”

  1. Rob Avatar

    There’s a number of business models that could be made to pay, it depends on how ambitious the project is to begin with. Take the LB is an example, it’s damn near a replacement for the local press and in terms of online content more than the local press are doing. It’s a full time job in itself. For that to “pay” in any traditional sense, ie, more than cover it’s actual costs and pay for the time of the people involved it needs to generate serious cash. That analysis takes no account of the labour of love aspect though.

    Other projects, Pits n Pots or the Hereford Heckler for example are smaller scale. They’re concerned with filling a perceived gap in the current media output and so in terms of frequency of issues/stories are much less intense and to pay they need much less money coming in and might not even want any, even to cover costs because they are so low.

    Part of the answer could very possibly be collaboration between groups with differing ideas about what they’re for.

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