CCLP researchers examine viability of online community news sites; Report profiles challenges facing Long Beach Post

As local print, radio and television news divisions struggle to stay afloat, online community news sites are increasingly filling the gaps left by traditional news outlets. But, do these hyper-local, online startups offer a sustainable business model different from their traditional counterparts? The USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) seeks to answer that question with the publication of a new case study on the challenges facing the Long Beach Post, an online news website launched in 2006. The report, "Online Community News: A Case Study in Long Beach, California — What It Takes to Survive and Thrive"…

Journalism entrepreneurship on the hyperlocal level – a case study in community news

“There is a profound crisis taking place in American journalism.” That is the introductory line to the case study being published today by the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. My coauthor, María Vázquez, and I hope that this case, which focuses on the real life trials and tribulations of a four year old community news web site in a suburb of Los Angeles, will add to the admittedly parse academic literature on what some people call “hyper-local news”. Existing news magazines and newspapers face serious threats to their continued profitability and viability. The future outlook for local…

Public radio is enjoying boom times

Dean Ernest J. Wilson III of USC Annenberg and the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy are preparing for the annual James L. Loper Lecture in Public Broadcasting on November 18, 2010. This year's speaker is NPR president and CEO, Vivian Schiller. Public radio, despite the failings of most media outlets in the US, is experiencing an increase in listeners and in funding. Below is an article published in The Los Angeles Times by James Rainey exploring the growth that is occurring in public radio. ——————————————————————————————————————————————- Larry Mantle, right, host of KPCC's popular "AirTalk" program. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times…

Entrepreneurship and the Community Web

In partnership with USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism, Center on Communication Leadership & Policy Senior Fellow and USC Annenberg executive in residence David Westphal convenes a meeting of top producers of web based community news and information to discuss best practices, building audiences, and serving the information needs of local communities. The program also includes presentations by Jarl Mohn, media investor, philanthropist and USC Annenberg board chairman and Jonathan Weber, founder and editor of NewWest.net. This program is part of Dean Ernest Wilson’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Literacy Initiative (ELE). There is no charge to attend, but advance registration is requested….

Two Newspaper Models: Microlocal success, large market challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The latest evidence of financial viability of microlocal news comes from an article in the Wall Street Journal describing the Register-Star, a successful newspaper in Hudson, a town in Columbia County, New York. The formula is a familiar one: "a rich diet of local politics, education news, crime, school sports and people stories." And according to the Journal article, the Register-Star never relied on classified advertising as heavily as the major metro dailies, all of which have seen their classified ad revenue eviscerated by craigslist.com. But that's another blog; let's go back to the editorial side, to…

Will YouTube be the Craigslist of TV News?

BOSTON — Watch that space: YouTube video news is here, tailored just for you, featuring news of your microlocal neighborhood, just for you. If you haven't seen it, YouTube News Near You is an automated microlocal news service, with software detecting a your location and matching it with video news stories from that neighborhood. Turn on, tune in, and drop out of the six o'clock local TV news. So far the story selection is pretty limited. Think of YouTube's new local news service as 2009's version of the "Camel News Caravan," NBC's 15-minute nightly newscast of the early 1950's, hop…

Nonprofits see a revenue model: universities

The headlines from last month's meeting of investigative reporting profits focused on one thing – their formation of a network to support investigative reporting and provide a showcase for the groups' work. The new organization, for now called the Investigative News Network, could be a big deal, and the 10 members of its steering committee went right to work getting it up and running. But another big theme rumbled through the meeting outside New York City at the Rockefeller estate, and that was the nonprofits' mad dash for new revenue models. "My personal passion is sustainability," said MinnPost CEO Joel…

New investigative group’s twin missions: journalism and sustainability

How hot is the world of nonprofit investigative reporting these days? Hot enough to make Jon Sawyer, who runs an international reporting shop, full of envy at this week's gathering on investigative reporting outside New York City. "We'd like to see the same energy in international reporting that we see on the investigative side," said Sawyer, director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. As was true at the recent Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference, this week's meeting of investigative reporting nonprofits generated an unmistakable energy field. Which is an amazing thing, given how desperate the plight of investigative…

Nonprofits launch Investigative News Network

A group of investigative reporting nonprofits has endorsed formation of a new umbrella organization aimed at sustaining the burgeoning investigative nonprofit movement and bringing new prominence to its journalism. A resolution, "Pocantico Declaration: Creating a Nonprofit Investigative News Network," was approved Wednesday by a diverse group of nonprofit leaders – established organizations like the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting, as well as newcomers like Texas Watchdog and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. The group's mission will be to "aid and abet, in every conceivable way, individually and collectively, the work and public reach…