Why hyper-local won’t save newspapers (and what will)

Newspapers have been desperately trying to figure out how to make the finances work as the ground shifts beneath them in an increasingly digital world. In Cincinnati, much like elsewhere throughout the country, local newspapers attempted to compete with bloggers by shifting towards “hyper-local” coverage, but it has yet to work. More from Per Square Mile:

Whenever a business or industry falls on hard times, people trip over themselves to propose turnaround plans. Newspapers are no exception, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be left out of the fray. My diagnosis? Too many newspapers have placed their bets on intensely local coverage, or hyper-local as they call it in the biz. That’s a mistake. To remain profitable, they need to concentrate on a particular topic instead of a geographic region.

That epiphany occurred to me Christmas morning over a bowl of cereal at my in-laws. I was flipping through the Houston Chronicle when I noticed the paper had branded their energy coverage, FuelFix. Not the best name, but it’s a sound idea. Houston is a major hub for the oil and gas industry, and Chronicle reporters have spent years, even decades reporting on it. Who else would be so positioned to cover the industry?

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