As we have seen over the past six months, it’s no longer a question of if your local newspaper will shut down, but when. In Boston the Globe appears to be hanging on by a thread, as the paper is projected to lose $85 million in 2009, after posting a loss of $50 million in 2008.
So the question becomes, where will you get your local news?
Wade Roush (Xconomy) addressed this question last week and made a convincing argument that various blogs in the Boston area are well-equip to provide us with news on various topics, such as Over the Monster for Red Sox news and GlobalPost for international news. While Wade recognized that these blogs don’t fill the Globe’s shoes when it comes to muckraking and watchdogging, they can certain provide us with (sometimes even more) information on the topics we’re interested in reading and learning about.
Another story in Sunday’s New York Times made the argument that we may soon be getting out local news from a computer:
A number of Web start-up companies are creating so-called hyper-local news sites that let people zoom in on what is happening closest to them, often without involving traditional journalists.
The sites, like EveryBlock, Outside.in, Placeblogger and Patch, collect links to articles and blogs and often supplement them with data from local governments and other sources. They might let a visitor know about an arrest a block away, the sale of a home down the street and reviews of nearby restaurants.
The article goes onto point out that these sites are still not quite ready for prime time (and don’t have a good revenue model), but have been pushed forward due to the newspaper industry’s current standing.
So while your dog may no longer bring your morning newspaper to the front door…
…there are still many people in line ready to step up and take on the responsibility of delivering the news.