Ken Doctor: “18 months after launching a local news company, here’s what I’ve learned”

From a story on by Ken Doctor headlined “18 months after launching a local news company (in an Alden market), here’s what I’ve learned”:

We called it the 3 a.m. Club.

We converged in Denver in mid-October last year, between Covid scares. We planned to talk about the stuff that actually makes local journalism revival possible in our cities and across the country: reader revenue, our tech stacks, the difficulty of hiring and the satisfactions and the pains of building new news companies, brick by brick. We had each brought people from our own teams, who shared their victories and stumbles, in the larger group of a dozen or so.

60 Minutes Looks at How Local Newsrooms Are Being Strained by Budget-Slashing Financial Firms

From a 60 Minutes interview on by Jon Wertheim headlined “Local newsrooms strained by budget-slashing financial firms”:

Newspaper industry in state of decline: not exactly a stop-the-presses headline. For two decades now — owing largely to the loss of advertising revenue to Facebook and Google — fewer and fewer Americans get their news, comics and sports from all those gazettes and tribunes and journals. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s an additional threat: hedge funds and other financial firms that now own nearly a third of the daily papers in America. And these new owners are often committed not to headlines and deadlines, but to bottom lines. One fund in particular has been called by some in the industry a “vulture,” bleeding newspapers dry. It all prompts the question: as local newsrooms and local news coverage shrivel up, to what extent does democracy shrink with it?

Google News Initiative Partners With Medill and Mather on Local Newsroom Tool

From a story on headlined “Google News Initiative Partners with Medill and Mather on Groundbreaking Local Newsroom Tool”:

The Google News Initiative has partnered with the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications to support an expansion of its new Medill Subscriber Engagement Index, a tool that aims to track and understand the behavior of digital subscribers for local news organizations.

The partnership also includes support for Mather Economics, an Atlanta-based consulting company focused on subscription revenue in the news industry that supplies and manages data to power the Index. As part of the partnership, the Google News Initiative is providing funding and expertise to support the ongoing operation of the Medill Subscriber Engagement Index for at least the next two years.

Brier Dudley: New Year, New Journalism Ventures Growing

From a column on by Brier Dudley headlined “New year, new journalism ventures growing”:

While the journalism crisis is far from over, 2022 should see all sorts of innovation and progress with different models to sustain local news coverage.

That’s partly because growing public awareness of the crisis and why it’s critical to sustain local news is producing generous support for efforts to restore or replace coverage lost as newspapers closed or shrank.

An outstanding example is Spotlight PA, a thriving news startup providing statewide accountability and investigative coverage in Pennsylvania.

Looking at 2022: “Local news outlets will keep shrinking—and experimenting”

From a Washington Post year in preview story by Elahe Izadi headlined “Local news outlets will keep shrinking—and experimenting”:

A seemingly never-ending pandemic, midterm elections, climate disasters: In these times, we could really use a robust corps of local journalists covering how their communities have been affected.