As local newspapers continue to fall off the map, digital-first websites are cropping up to cover local communities. Web-based news outlets are starting to help fill that void.
For example, Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), a trade organization, has seen its membership double, said Executive Director Matt DeRienzo. He also said that the trade group has a database of 600+ of local online news sites that would qualify for membership to LION, meeting their requirements of doing real journalism and being independent.
The Local Media Consortium — which represents dozens of local papers and media companies, like The Seattle Times, The McClatchy Company and Cox Media Group — also says that it’s seeing record growth for digital websites of newspapers, some of which are downsizing in print. The group’s member websites of newspapers showed
Year-over-Year growth in two key areas: Sellable ad impressions were up 36%, and page views were up 17%. Local banner advertising revenue for LMC members has increased over 100% in the last three years.
The bottom line: While these efforts can’t fully replace the thousands of journalists being displaced across the country, they are helping small communities access local news and information. In some cases, they are able to take coverage of certain small topic areas or communities to the next level.
Fisher, S. (2018, July 23). Axios Media Trends.