Last week while I was rambling on about the lack of really local news on the web, the New York Times was writing about “citizen bloggers and deep-pocketed entrepreneurs… creating town-specific, and even neighborhood-specific, Web sites where the public can read and contribute items too small or too fleeting for weekly newspapers”. It has some good examples.
Lucas Grindley, content manage of HeraldTribune.com, took up the matter in his personal blog, saying newspapers create financial support for start-ups by setting ad rates too high for small business owners. His second point was that cash-strapped newsapers move too slowly to recognise the emerging market where the seemingly unimportant news is still read by someone.
His is a well-reasoned post of the dangers for newspapers which start losing market share.
Howard Owens has extended the debate away from geographic niches to subject specific blogs about food, gardening, law, entertainment and so on.
It all adds up to a warning to local newspaper and specialist title groups that they are going to have to rethink the way they run their businesses. If they don’t they will loose it to start-ups which don’t have the same costs.