Regional papers suffering because they’re not local enough

It hasn’t been my blogging style recently just to quote a post and link to it. I’ve decided just to post when I have something to say.

I’m making exception for this Steve Yelvington post, because the following quote is just too good, too pure and true not to highlight:

Newspapers like the Dallas Morning News, the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Minneapolis Star Tribune are hurting not because they’re local, but because they’re not local enough. And as they try to figure out how to be local, they’re discovering they lack the proper tools. They have the wrong staff, the wrong processes, even the wrong presses.

Smaller newspapers are doing much better. The genuinely local, and even better yet, hyperlocal newspapers — the ones you can pick up and see your life reflected — are very strong.

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  • http://spap-oop.blogspot.com Tish Grier

    interesting! and reflects a recent email conversation I had with Mark Potts, where we were both mentioned how some regional papers still feel the need to be everything to all readers–so much so that they try to cover huge national stories by publishing a wide variety of wire stories on the subject.

    This helps no one–not even the stalwart retirees who are probably getting most of their national coverage from tv, or the local major market paper.

    Another thing too–papers probaby don’t have the right tools and the right staff for the conversations that might pop up when they go online with hyperlocal. One local W.Mass paper hides all its content and conversation behind a subscription wall. Makes me wonder how this benefits the community (if at all.) Makes me wonder, too, if it’s helping with revenue.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    Part of the problem in the dailies is a staff that is too old to change, or even conceive of ways involving readers that are just elementary to us bloggers.

    I hope you won’t mind me posting an example from my own blog, but this directly relates to our “local” paper:

    http://www.advicegoddess.com/archives/2007/07/my_outfit_cost_1.html

    And, okay, maybe it sounds a little self-serving, since getting dressed is one of my hobbies, but what I’d like to see in the L.A. Times is not just the clothes of people who go to Barney’s and drop thousands on a sweater (there’s a style-stressor!). How about shots of the numerous people around L.A. — non-sweatpants/flip-flops wearers, that is — who slap together a couple or three twenties and manage to look pretty original and fab?

    Yeah…if I ran the paper (well, if I ran the paper my column would run in it)…if I ran the paper, that Image section would have a regular feature in the print editon and online of snazzily dressed locals who don’t just bend over for Fred Segal and/or Ann Taylor…and a couple words about who they are and why they wear what they wear.

    I’ve never lived in a town where I’ve known less about the locals from the local daily!