Digital things for local media
Local newspapers probably aren’t going to do very well in the coming years if they keep thinking of themselves as local newspapers and not local media.
And that should be a little bit liberating, because what you can do digitally is far less limited than what you can in print - but this isn’t a web vs print idea.
In fact, as local media start to think of themselves as such, the services they can provide to locals are fare more varied.
When I leave London for home up north, I know I can’t use public transport. I don’t know which buses go where - apart from maybe two routes.
I can look on Google, but that’s huge. It covers the whole earth, how can they stay on top of the changes? How can I trust they’ve got the most up-to-date information on data on my little northern town?
Enter local media. If I know there’s an organisation that can help me navigate a local area - whether that be its news, its traffic, the routes its public transport takes, good places to eat, dentists to avoid, etc - trust in the information it provides will come more easily than it does in an app that crowdsources information and opinion from Twitter or Wikipedia.
Local newspapers, or other local news outlets, should offer the full package. Team up, merge, collaborate and tell me how to get in to town from where I’m currently standing.