(Originally posted on Oct. 20, 2010)
The Knight Foundation announced a second round of traditional media (three newspapers, one public radio station) partnering with hyperlocal sites, essentially aggregating headlines from these small sites. In a post titled “Collaboration is the new competition,” Jan Schaffer of J-Lab gives details of how round one went. There’s not a monolithic model in it. Some of the partnerships called for links back and forth; some allowed the traditional media partners to republish material from the hyperlocal partners.
Expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing. The resources traditional newsrooms have lost in recent years seem unlikely to return, certainly not soon, given the continuing sluggishness in the advertising market. These kind of partnerships can help fill the voids that the past years’ cuts have left. No, it won’t be the same. But if you pick your partners carefully, as The Daily Progress has done with Charlottesville Tomorrow — a local nonprofit group that focuses on development and planning issues — then what you get will help your site become the hub where people come first to find reliable local headlines.
10/22 UPDATE: One of the newspapers that participated in round one of the hyperlocal partnerships, The Seattle Times, won the Innovator of the Year award from APME, in part because of that partnership.