The people who run these outfits purport to provide timely, accurate local information mostly through volunteer bloggers and contributors. A handful of sites actually employ journalists.
It is said that with the imminent death of mainstream TV and newspaper media, these hyperlocal blogging sites will be a key source of information for communities.
That said, many of these hyperlocal sites buy their content from newspapers and TV stations. How are these sites to survive without the mainstream media outlets that feed them?
I can’t imagine a volunteer blogger spending his entire day hanging out at city hall, five days a week, to keep an eye on what our elected officials are up to. Or perhaps dragging kilos of camera and sound equipment around to cover a story, then spending hours cutting an awesome multimedia presentation.
Even journalism students are encouraged to find paying jobs — at least that’s how it was when I went to school.
I hope not too many more media outlets bite the dust before people realize how important professional local news outfits are to their communities.