Nieman Lab: Taking local news to the really local level: Using location data to deliver relevant local news. “Our way of exploring the issue was to test an app that sends people local news stories about where they actually are. Unlike national or international newsrooms that are incentivized to send or organize stories by continent, country, state, or city — local newsrooms can organize stories about neighborhoods, wards, counties, and towns. They write about block-level issues, and if technology lets us deliver stories by block now, the chances that a nearby local story will be relevant to someone increases significantly.”
Nieman Lab: Fewer nosy neighbors and data overlords: This German publisher is trying to build a hyperlocal social network. “Dog poop and parking spot shortages: just local news things. These story topics might seem trivial individually but are the core of what matters to local communities — and local news consumers. It’s journalists listening for their questions and getting them answers.”
Robert Feder: Block Club Chicago acquires archive of DNAinfo. “Block Club Chicago, the new subscription-based neighborhood news service, has picked up the assets of DNAinfo, including the extensive archive of stories created by the former hyperlocal news sites in Chicago and New York. It’s quite a coup for Block Club Chicago, which acquired the treasure trove Thursday as a gift from New York Public Radio WNYC. The station obtained the assets from DNAinfo in February as part of a larger deal that included Gothamist and associated sites.”
Gizmodo: How to Use Social Networks to Find Out What’s Going On in Your Neighborhood. “The web connects us to people on the other side of the globe in an instant, but sometimes you just want to know what’s happening down the street. Here’s how to use your social networks and more to get the local lowdown and stay in the loop with what’s going on nearby, whether that’s snowstorms or street parties.”
The Atlantic: The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life. “When a teenager began firing on students in Marilyn Johnson’s old high school east of Cleveland, Johnson searched everywhere to find out what was happening. She first saw the news on CNN, but she found out more on the town library’s Facebook page. The site was ‘the best, most detailed place to get breaking information,’ she says. Johnson had published an acclaimed book on the digital and community future of libraries just two years earlier—This Book Is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All—but she hadn’t predicted that the sharp decline in original local news could propel librarians into action. Since that 2012 shooting, more local newspapers have folded or shrunk, and a few libraries have ventured in to fill the vacuum.”
The Next Web: Google is building Bulletin, a hyperlocal community news service. “Google is working on a new way to source and highlight hyperlocal news from citizen journalists. It’s called Bulletin, and it lets anyone publish a news story just by blogging and sharing images and video straight from their phone through the platform’s mobile app – without the need to create an outlet of their own. The idea is to highlight stories from within communities, by making them visible through Google search.” While I’m a big fan of local and hyperlocal news, I’m having trouble reconciling this with Google’s problems with fraudulent information in its regular Google News product. Surely you don’t get rid of that by opening a platform wider?