News Leadership 3.0

Posts tagged with: Community News

February 04, 2010

Promising community news sites - An update

The list is growing—This week we’ve added “new traditionals” sites that employ professional journalists and rely on relatively big budgets as wells as entrepreneurial “micro local”

Here’s the growing list of promising online news organizations I’m creating as part of my work as a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. We want to learn from them and see if RJI can help them flourish. You can see my criteria for “promising” here. You can suggest additions to the list in comments below. Missouri grad student Adam Maksl and I will review your suggestions as quickly as possible.

1. NEW TRADITIONALS - These sites are dominated by original content produced by professional journalists. While the newsroom staff may be smaller than in a traditional newspaper newsroom, these sites tend to have more journalists on staff than community or micro local sites.  Many are embracing digital connectivity with their users, but traditional journalism is their bread and butter. Most of these sites are powered with grant funding and are searching for a viable revenue model, perhaps one that mixes grants, donations, sponsorships, syndication and advertising. Among others, the Knight Foundation is putting significant money to start organizations of this type. New traditionals updated Feb. 2, 2010

  • JUST ADDED: Newly established California Watch, led by veteran investigative journalist Mark Katches,  aims to provide state coverage by the largest investigative reporting staff in the state. Topics: Money and politics, education, environment, health and welfare, public safety. Revenue: Grants, donations. About California Watch. Bonus points: Very nice looking site with useful maps, multimedia.
  • JUST ADDED: Chicago News Cooperative was founded last fall with a staff of salaried professional journalists. Focus: Public policy and politics in the Chicago metro area. Revenue: Grants, sells content to New York Times. Bonus points: Founder/editor James O’Shea is not collecting a salary for the first year. About Chicago News Cooperative.

  • JUST ADDED: The CTMirror is focused on the Connecticut statehouse. Topics: State politics, state budget, education, elections, health, human services. Revenue: Grants, including a recent matching Community Information Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. (Disclosure: I advise CIC projects as a consultant to the Knight Foundation. And by the way, Knight is taking applications for the next round of grants.) Bonus points: The site will share coverage for free with other outlets. About CTMirror. Here’s a recent piece on CTMirror from Poynter’s Bill Mitchell.
  • Gotham Gazette is a New York City site operated by the Citizens Union Foundation. Topics: City and state policy and politics. Revenue:  Donations, advertising, foundation grants. Bonus points: Uses interactive games to engage users in solving civic problems. About Gotham Gazette.
  • JUST ADDED: MinnPost: The mission of this nonprofit site, founded by CEO and Editor Joel Kramer, is ¿to provide high-quality journalism for news-intense people who care about Minnesota.¿ Topics: Revenue: Grants, advertising, sponsorship, donations. About MinnPost. Bonus points: Making inroads on a sustainable revenue model with emphasis on advertising and donations. (Here’s what Kramer says about the financial outlook.) About MinnPost.

  • JUST ADDED: New England Center for Investigative Reporting was founded by Boston journalists Joe Bergantino and Maggie Mulvihill and is based at Boston University College of Communication and uses student journalists to develop investigative projects. Topics: Watchdog reporting on state regulators and oversight. Funding: University support, membership/dongations. Bonus Points: Posts documents underlying its reports. About New England Center for Investigative Reporting.
  • New Haven Independent is a professionally-staffed local news site in Connecticut, edited by Paul Bass and sponsored by the not-for-profit Online Journalism Project. Topics: Neighborhoods, government, politics, criminal justice, schools, business. Revenue: Foundation grants, advertising, donations. About New Haven Independent. Bonus points: With grant funding, recently spun off a sister site, the Valley Independent Sentinel (About), also professionally staffed, which serves five towns in Connecticut’s Naugautuck Valley.
  • JUST ADDED: The Seattle PI last year joined the ranks of online only and it is still finding its footing in the news media lab that is Seattle. (More to come on Seattle’s boom in micro local sites.) Topics: Local news, business, sports. Revenue: Advertising. Bonus points: May teach the rest of us something about the potential for a coporate (Hearst), purely for-profit site general news serving a large metro area. About the PI.
  • JUST ADDED: Texas Tribune is a lively nonprofit newcomer with a professional staff that covers all things politics in Texas. Topics: State government, politics, campaign finance, education, immigration, death penalty. Revenue: Grants, donations, sponsorships, memberships. (Here¿s Tribune Chairman John Thornton on the financial outlook.) Bonus points: Large data library. About Texas Tribune.

  • The Tyee is a Vancouver, B.C. news site that uses professional journalists and seeks to publish stories that mainstream news sources ignore. The editor is David Beers. Topics: Government and public affairs, environment, justice system.  Revenue: Advertising, donations. About The Tyee.
  • Voice of San Diego, with a high-energy look  and a carefully crafted mission, is a model for online city journalism done right. Topics: Politics, education, neighborhoods, public safety, housing, economy and quality of life. Revenue: Grants, donations, memberships, advertising. Bonus points: Investigative reporting. About Voice of San Diego.
  • JUST ADDED: Wy.o.file provides public interest news about the state of Wyoming with a goal of supplementing what is offered by established media. Topics: Environment, energy, politics, culture. Revenue: Grants; another recent winner of a Knight CIC grant. Bonus points: Organization is hiring a development director - Job posting. About Wy.o.file.

Coming in 2010: Bay Area News Project, The Florida Independent (a project of the Center for Independent Media).

2. COMMUNITY - These sites often rely on professional journalists but they tend to be bootstrappers who also focus on community building—actively seeking user feedback and content, writing in a conversational tone, and fostering civic engagement with practices such as voting, calls to action, and partnerships with local organizations and activists.

  • Oakland Local is a community news site founded by Web entrepreneur Susan Mernit in Oakland, Calif. About. Topics: Environment, food, development, identity, arts & education. Revenue: Start up grant, advertising in the works. Bonus points: Savvy combination of community partnerships and strategic use of social media create community buzz. About Oakland Local.
  • Open Media Boston reports local news with a small professional staff supplemented by citizen journalists. Topics: Local news, arts and living, tech, opinion. Revenue: Advertising, donations, foundation grants. Bonus points: Uses social media tools to solicit content submissions from readers. About Open Media Boston.
  • Twin Cities Daily Planet is a rich community news site in Minneapolis-St. Paul founded by journalist Jeremy Iggers. Topics: Neighborhoods and communities, work & economy, politics & policy, arts & lifestyle, immigrants and immigration. Revenue: Donations, advertising, sponsorships, foundation grants. Bonus points: Aggregates dozens of community sites, including ethnic media, About Twin Cities Daily Planet.

To be added: Gables Home Page

3. MICRO LOCAL - Sometimes called “hyper local,” these sites provide highly granular news of a defined neighborhood or town. They may have a tiny staff—one or two people plus interns or citizen contributors—supported by highly local advertising. Micro local updated Feb. 2, 2010

  • BaristaNet, run by veteran journalists Debbie Galant and Liz George, covers three towns in northern New Jersey. Topics: Locals news and events. Revenue: Local advertising, including classifieds.  Bonus Points: The site has formed some partnerships with other local organizations, including creating an online local parenting guide (Barista Kids) with a local children¿s organization. About BaristaNet.
  • The Batavian: Digital news pioneer Howard Owens started this New York news blog for Gatehouse Media, then took it with him when he left the company. Topics: Local news. Revenue: Advertising, sponsorships. Bonus points: Another demonstration that there is a revenue model in local advertising. About The Batavian.
  • JUST ADDED: blogdowntown is a non-profit, community-funded news organization that covers downtown Los Angeles. It operates as part of Community Partners, a non-profit incubator that helps the site with accounting and legal support, so the site can “focus on delivering you news about Downtown.” Topics: Local news, business, politics, transportation, arts and entertainment. Revenue: Donations. Bonus points: They’ve created a Twitter list, published prominently on their front page, that includes Twitter feeds from 109 downtown businesses. About blogdowntown.
  • JUST ADDED: Corona del Mar Today is dedicated to local news from the Corona del Mar neighborhood of Newport Beach, Calif. Published by journalist Amy Senk, the site aims to bring news to the neighborhood of more than 13,000 residents. Topics: Local news, youth sports. Revenue: Advertising. About Corona del Mar Today.
  • JUST ADDED: Exit133 publishes local news about Tacoma, Wash. Topics: Government, politics, arts. Revenue: Advertising, sponsorships. About Exit133.
  • JUST ADDED: InMaricopa.com, in addition to publishing a Web site, produces a monthly newspaper and quarterly magazine for the community of Maricopa, Ariz. Topics: Local news, business, education, sports, real estate, opinion. Revenue: Advertising. About InMaricopa.
  • JUST ADDED: JDLand.com, operated by Jacqueline Dupree, covers D.C.’s Ballpark District/Navy Yard, Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Topics: Neighborhood news, including housing, transportation, and business. Revenue: Advertising, primarily Google Adwords. Bonus points: Includes government data feeds, giving lists recent neighborhood crimes, space and building permits, service requests, and property sales. About JDLand. JDLand was the 2008 winner of the Knight-Batten Citizen Media Award.
    REVISED: Lakeland Local in Florida is run by Chuck Welch. Several volunteers journalists contribute content as do citizen contributors. Welch, who is semi-retired, says he has preferred to focus on journalism rather than selling ads. But that may change as the operation expands. Topics: Local news, crime, events. Revenue: None. Bonus points: Engagement with social media and mapping, including this foreclosure map. About Lakeland Local. (Previously listed as mini local blog. My mistake. MM
  • The Loop is a micro local news site founded and operated by television journalist Polly Kriesman, a multiple Emmy winner. It serves Larchmont and five other communities near New York City. Topics: Local news and events. Revenue: Advertising. Bonus points: News with good-natured attitude. About The Loop.
  • JUST ADDED: RedBankGreen, produced by Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward, covers news about Red Bank, N.J., and surrounding communities. Topics: Local news, including government, transportation and business. Revenue: Advertising. Bonus points: They take an innovative approach to comment moderation. In an effort to discourage “thuggish and/or cowardly” comments, the site operators move such comments to the “Back Alley,” a section of their comments area that can be hidden by readers. They say this policy encourages open and transparent dialogue (more about the commenting policy). About RedBankGreen.
  • West Seattle Blog is operated by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand. Topics: Local news, crime, traffic, events. Revenue: Advertising. Bonus points: Demonstrating that highly local advertising can anchor a modest business model. About West Seattle Blog.

To be added: Seattle’s Capitol Hill and My Ballard blogs.

4. LOCAL NEWS SYSTEMS - These are highly local, low cost sites created with a regional or national template, often by a corporation. In taking the temperature of the news ecosystem, it is important to note that corporations are interested in micro local news and the local advertising they may draw. What do they know that established news organizations don’t? Local news systems updated Feb. 2, 2010

To be added: Patch, YourHub, Metblogs

5. NICHE

To be added: Health News Florida, Investigate West, Bargain Babe.

6. NICHE LOCAL - These sites focus on a limited number of specific topics—restaurants and entertainment or health and medical news, or they aim to engage very specific communities such as young people or seniors.

  • Seattle/Local Health Guide was founded by MD/journalist Michael McCarthy. Topics: Health news from the Seattle and the Puget Sound region and information about services available in the area. Revenue: Advertising in the works. Bonus points: A flu vaccine locator widget. About.
  • Duke City Fix is an Albuquerque, New Mexico community Web site that is managed by volunteers.  Topics: Neighborhoods, restaurants and music. Revenue: Ads by Google. Bonus points: Active commenting community. About Duke City Fix.
  • Irish Philadelphia focuses on local news and culture for Philly’s Irish-American community. It is run by two Philly journalists, Jeff Meade and Denise Foley, who themselves have Irish roots. Topics: Music, dance, art, food, genealogy, sports, travel. Revenue: Advertising. About Irish Philadelphia.

To be added:

7. MINI SITES - These sites typically are run by one or two people. They tend to be idiosyncratic in the selection of stories they cover and not highly aggressive in finding revenue. While we recognize their value in the news ecosystem, we do not plan to study them in depth. But we will list examples we come across.

  • Coconut Grove Grapevine. is a low-key local blog site for Coconut Grove, Florida by Editor/Publisher Tom Falco. Topics: Civic events, weather, business specials. Revenue: Advertising.
  • Boise Guardian is a local watchdog blog in Boise, Idaho, that mixes news and opinion; the editor is David R. Frazier. Topics: Local politics and policy. Revenue: Donations. About Boise Guardian.
  • SkokieNet in Illinois is operated by the Skokie public library and invites users to contribute stories, photos and calendar listings. Topics: A wide range of local news and events. Revenue: Not clear beyond public library support.

8. AGGREGATORS - These sites curate links and headlines from other sources. While curation provides a valuable service, our study is focused on sites that originate news.

February 11, 2010

From Chicago: A snapshot of online news experiments

Despite the demise of Chi-Town Daily News last year, Chicago enjoys a lively news environment. Chicago’s experiments may help us understand and shape an emerging new media landscape.

I interviewed operators of three Chicago online news sites - Gapers Block, Windy Citizen, and Chicago Talks - recently and found the mix of content and revenue ideas worth following. I’m adding several Chicago sites to my list of promising online news sites.

Gapers Block

Led by Andrew Huff, this site is aggregates and offers original content, mostly from about 80 volunteers (professional journalists, other professionals, students and others), edited by eight professionals who receive small stipends.  It is expanding its original offerings with a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.

Gapers Block, Huff says, is a Chicago expression for “rubbernecking” or stopping to take a look.

“We’re pulling out the news you may not have seen. We cover in brief ways the big stories of the day. What we really like to do is cover the stories that got buried and you have missed and bring them to the forefront. We’re trying to send people other media,” Huff said, who founded the site in 2003 after an unhappy stint in public relations.

The volunteer writers stick around for about a year, Huff said. The site relies on advertising revenue and Huff draws a small salary.

“We’re are a pretty collaborative effort. It’s a pretty flat structure. I’m writing constantly for the site so it’s not some guy up on high. Because we have such a good reputation in the media and in organizations we cover, (writing for the site) attractive. It’s a little bit of cachet to say you write for Gapers Block.”


Windy Citizen

This site, founded in 2007 by Brad Flora, aggregates links to the interesting stories of the day.  Flora and two interns prime the site. It has an engaged community of users who vote stories and comments up and down. User votes play a significant role in determining what stories rise to the front page of the site.

Advertising is the main source of revenue and Flora says the site makes $5-10,000 a month. In August, he hired two part-time advertising sales people. He thinks he needs to double or triple his user base to be a sustainable business and is using grant funding to improve his content management system to support more users.

Flora believes his two core user groups are attractive to advertisers - Young people in their 20’s or early 30’s who like the off beat news and 50-60 somethings who want a place to discuss politics.

In general, Flora says the discomfort journalists experience when trying to make money holds many sites back.

“The sites are too small. They are run by people who are afraid to ask for money. The journalism curse. My plan was to get big enough that I could attract someone mean enough to sell advertising. Journalists are not comfortable doing that. They can make a fine product, but they’re under pricing advertising, they’re not very good a presenting it, at working the phones. These are all things I struggle with personally.”

Flora also says he’s encouraged by the second wave of large non-profit news organizations such as Texas Tribune who are coming on line with the know-how to raise money.


Chicago Talks

This site draws most of its content from Columbia College students. The school provides support including editing by faculty and grad students.

Site content focuses on original news that others aren’t covering and aims to produce at least five original stories a week. Suzanne McBride, associate chair of Columbia’s School of Media Arts, said content is fairly traditional and consists of news, not opinion.

McBride said the site turned primarily to students after finding citizen contributors were difficult to rely upon on a consistent basis
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With expansion grant funding, the site will pay teenagers and provide them with transit cards to report on the Austin neighborhood, one of Chicago’s most challenged.

McBride and Columbia College’s Nancy Day said the site ultimately must create an advertising revenue stream, which may prove difficult in neighborhoods such as Austin that have low income residents and relatively few commercial operations to form a pool of potential advertisers.


Chicago News Cooperative

While I did not interview anyone from the Chicago News Cooperative during my visit, I’d be remiss not to mention this newcomer. Funded by large start up grants from several foundations, the CNC employs professional journalists who focus on politics and policy in the Chicago metro area. It provides content for The New York Times Chicago edition two days a week. Launched in October as a not-for-profit, it fills the role of a traditional alternative to established newspaper organizations. The site promises to “introduce novel ways to connect the community with our news room in a two-way exchange of information.” I asked founder and editor James O’Shea via e-mail to elaborate on that and I’ll report back on what I learn.

(Disclosure: All four of these operations recently received expansion grants from the Chicago Community Trust as part of the Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge. I was on the CCT review panel as a consultant to the Knight Foundation.) Knight is opening another round of the competition and you can apply here.

None of us knows what models for providing news and information will survive. But I think these four sites—three of which have found very inexpensive ways to create content and attract a community of users and one that is attempting a focused professional model—underscore the idea that a diverse mix of media may serve the information needs of communities rather than one large institution.

For more information about the news ecology of Chicago, check out this study commissioned by the Chicago Community Trust, “The New News: Journalism We Want and Need.”

Please join the conversation about online news start ups and new models for news. If you have suggestions for my list, please add them in comments below. You’ll find my list of promising sites here and the criteria for the list here.

(This is cross posted in the Reynolds Journalism Institute blog.)

February 27, 2010

LIVEBLOG Mar 1-2: Community foundations, media/tech experts explore local info needs

Community foundations are a growing source of funding for local news and media. By learning how community foundations work, what they want, and how to work with them, journalists can get help launching or grow local news startups.

On Mar. 1-2, 2010, Amy Gahran will liveblog a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation “Media Learning Seminar” where community and place-based foundation leaders will meet with journalism and technology experts to explore community information needs.

Here’s our liveblog…

Presenter list

Twitter: Monitor the hashtag #infoneeds

More on the Knight Foundation’s community foundation efforts:

April 02, 2010

New report examines public library’s growing role as online civic hub

In the past year, about a third of Americans age 14 and over (about 77 million people) accessed the internet at a public library. US libraries and librarians are assuming a fast-growing role as a lifeline that connects people to jobs, news, education, services, health information, friends and family—and also community/civic participation.

A new report in the US IMPACT series of studies, How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at US Libraries, examines in detail how libraries are helping people meet a variety of online needs. It provides particularly intriguing insight into who’s using library internet to engage with community life, and how they’re doing it. Keeping up with the news is a big part of that picture…

By Amy Gahran

(This is part of a series of guest posts by Amy Gahran. Amy is looking how news organizations and other institutions can implement the findings of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, This joint project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Aspen Institute Communications and Society program produced the report, “Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age.” See all posts in this series.)

Who’s using library internet? According to the IMPACT study, one third of the 77 million library internet patrons “used library computers to learn about politics, news, and their community. Among these users, 81% reported keeping up with current events, 80% reported learning about candidates or issues, and 25% reported managing a club or nonprofit organization.”

What kinds of people are most likely to use library internet to participate in civic and community life?

  • Lower income. People who earn $66,000 or less for a family of four (three times the current US poverty line).
  • Ethnicity. Hispanics are most likely; then Native Americans, African Americans, and mixed-raced individuals. Whites are least likely.
  • Youth. Users aged 14-24 led the field.
  • Gender. Men were 20% more likely than women.
  • Education. People with at least some education beyond high school were most likely.

Findings on civic/community engagement: The IMPACT report defined online civic engagement as “individual and collective actions using online resources designed to identify and address issues of public concern, including efforts to work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy.” 

I was intrigued that this study characterized keeping up with the news as primarily an activity associated with civic/community life—not as simply “media consumption,” as it often is in other studies about online use. This could indicate something unique about the perspective of library internet users, or simply the assumptions of the organizations behind the survey. (It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. More about the survey.)

The report also examined how people use library internet access to engage communities. One specific activity discussed was organizing and managing community groups. Many survey participants claimed this activity is important to them. About 4 million people learned about starting an online presence for a club or community organization at the library— and 35% of these people actually started a club or association. Specific activities included:

  • Scheduling or reporting on meetings.
  • Promoting activities or attracting new members.
  • Seeking grants or funding.

The report noted, “57% of library internet users who looked for funding (about 1.2 million people) indicated that they had applied for funding—and 68% who  applied (over 813,000 people) actually received funding. This is concrete evidence that libraries are providing necessary tools and monetary support for people to engage in community activity.”

ACTION STEP: GO TO THE LIBRARY. Earlier, this blog post series recommended that news organizations partner more with public libraries, since libraries are natural sites of media literacy. But the IMPACT report indicates that libraries are also an increasing hub for civic and community “literacy,” too.

Therefore, journalists and others involved in ventures that provide news, information, and connection about civic and community life should probably start hanging out at the local library. Get online there, and start to assess who uses your local library’s internet access—and why.

More importantly, volunteer at your local library to assist library internet users. Most libraries are eager to work with volunteers. Once you get start working with the library and its patrons, learning their priorities and needs from the inside, you can forge relationships and spot opportunities for partnership and collaboration between the library and your local news or information venue.

Library volunteering also could be a channel to reach people who are not only underserved by local media and internet access, but also who are especially likely to be community leaders in those populations. The report noted: “In society at large, typically only a small percentage of the total population are community leaders and enablers. The characteristics of library internet users who are more likely to engage in [starting or managing online communities] ...suggest that the library is providing a way for emergent leaders to help their community take care of itself—which could in turn provide a safety net for people who might otherwise lack support.”

ACTION STEP: FUNDING COLLABORATION. Recommendation 7 of the Knight Commission report says:

“Fund and support public libraries and other community institutions as centers of digital and media training, especially for adults.”

..Like all public institutions, libraries are facing a severe funding crisis. They’re also eligible for many types of grants and other funding sources beyond tax revenue. Look for opportunities where partnering with a local library in your program and on your grant applications would make sense. If it’s a good fit, both parties—and the community—could benefit.

However, be sensitive to the unique concerns of libraries. They face specific legal and political issues, and librarians also have their own strong culture. So before approaching a library with a funding partnership idea, start volunteering first to build relationships, credibility, and knowledge.

September 21, 2010

Users report high satifsfaction and trust with local online news start ups

A survey of more than 1,000 users of community sites shows that traditional news outlets in some communities no longer have a corner on respect and credibility. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in our poll of users of new local news websites said they are more satisfied with that site than with their local mainstream media source. The survey is the latest part of my Reynolds Journalism Institute research project.

The survey also found:
- Users responding to the survey place a high degree of trust in their local sites, suggesting many find the new sites more credible than traditional media sources.
- Users go to the sites for original local news but they also see sites as important places to engage in community.
- More than a third of those responding say their local site is their primary local news source.
Read more about the findings at www.rjionline.org
Full summary here, courtesy of Adam Maksl, my research partner who led this part of the project. The work echoes what I am seeing in many communities around the country as an advisor with the Knight Foundation‘s Community Information Challenge.)
My RJI project culminates later this week with Block by Block: Community News Summit 2010, a gathering of online community news publishers. You can follow the live stream and live blog here. We’re also inviting participants to post summaries here.

September 13, 2011

Patch by the numbers 2: Advertising

By Anna Tarkov
When it comes to advertising, the four Patch sites I reviewed in August all relied heavily on national advertising, while three were also attracting a significant amount of local ads. Patch local business directories also figure in the revenue mix.

Last week we took a look at Patch’s content and audience engagement. Now it’s time to talk turkey, as the old expression goes. In other words, show us the money. After all, content and everything else will be for naught if Patch can’t financially sustain itself. Since Patch content is online only and is free to read for all visitors, revenue comes solely from advertising. Though, as we’ll see, that can take different forms.

image

As with content, my approach was to take note of the ads that appeared on portions of four different Patch sites. A California site (Hermosa Beach; launched 3/8/2010), a New York site (Rye; launched 12/22/2009), Florida site (Brandon, launched 12/15/2010) and a Midwest site (Northbrook; launched 9/9/2010).  (Note: I reside in Northbrook.)

I defined “Local” as an advertiser actually in the town that the Patch site covers; “Metro” as an advertiser a nearby town or in the general metropolitan area. National advertisers are national companies. Patch includes house ads promoting advertising on Patch or Patch daily deals. (More on methodology at the end of this post.)

It’s important to note that this was a scan of only four Patch sites out of a network of 861. So draw your conclusions if you must, but do it carefully.

What does Patch offer advertisers?

At first glance, when looking at a Patch site page like this one, it might seem like display ads are the only thing on the menu for advertisers. After talking to Patch President Warren Webster, I discovered that Patch offers more.

Most of the other products have to do with the directory of local businesses, schools and other neighborhood spots that each Patch site has. With its obvious importance to the bottom line, the directory is prominently featured as one of the top level categories on each site (here’s an example).

Webster billed these directories as a vital resource for the community as well as to area businesses. He also stressed that they aren’t purchased from a third party, but hand-built. Webster said that every business or place listed has been visited in person by a Patch staffer and all information such as hours, parking, etc. has been verified. Photos of the business are also taken and in the end, it looks something like this.

Patch hopes to make money on these directories by having businesses claim the listings Patch has created for them. Claiming one’s listing doesn’t technically cost anything. But once a business claims its listing, Patch will pitch the idea of producing a video commercial to appear in the listing like this one, putting the listing on different areas of the site, adding a message from the owner, being added to the Patch directories of neighboring towns and very likely buying display advertising. For many of these local businesses, it will be their first foray into having a web presence and that’s just what Patch is banking on.

How is the sales operation faring?

As with traffic stats, Patch will not release numbers on how it is faring in selling their various ad products or how much they are charging for them. A leaked ad rate card appeared in July, but a Patch spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny its accuracy.

Webster predictably dismissed the disgruntled Patch salesperson who is quoted in the link above. “It’s easy to dig up the people who aren’t happy or they weren’t the right fit,” he said. He went on to add that he considers the person an outlier within the Patch sales organization and not representative of other employees. In other communications with Patch spokespeople, it was hinted to me that the person had already been slated to be fired. Again, there is no way to confirm or deny this claim.

I tried to get a sense of the general satisfaction of Patch sales staff by asking Webster what the degree of turnover is among sales reps. He asserted that it is on par with every other sales organization he has seen and that as it naturally happens, some people are a good fit while others are not. Nevertheless, he seemed to acknowledge possible challenges by citing Patch’s fast pace of growth over the course of the last year. While Webster didn’t link this directly to any specific problems, it’s not difficult to imagine that it may be difficult to effectively oversee an ever growing sales staff.

So how many people are we talking about?  The ad sales arm of Patch employs nearly 300 people. Each individual sales rep is responsible for covering a cluster of sites based on things like population and number of businesses in the area. That means the number of sites per sales rep can somewhat vary, but Webster said it ends up being 3-4 sites on average.

Are advertisers happy?

Answering this question is almost as difficult as trying to determine whether Patch is making money on its ad sales.

Advertisers haven’t been extensively sought out for comment so there are few independent accounts to go on. Business Insider cited one Patch advertiser who hadn’t yet seen big gains in his business, but was optimistic.

Meanwhile, optimism is available in abundance on Patch Sales’ YouTube channel, which features video after video of blissfully happy advertisers. All of them state that their business is up as a result of advertising on Patch.  It’s a convenient echoing of what Webster said when we spoke. “Our goal is to get customers in the door,” he stated and according to these video testimonials at least, it’s happening. How many current or former Patch advertisers might not share this view? There’s obviously no YouTube channel for that.

What there seems to be no doubt about is Patch’s dedication to advertisers and local businesses in general. Sure, readers need to be happy too, but it’s clear no one is forgetting who foots the bill. “We want to make the community stronger and we see businesses as a crucial part of that,” Webster explained. He then took it a step further when discussing whether Patch is developing long-term relationships with advertisers and spelled out the commitment to businesses in no uncertain terms: “We see the advertisers’ info as being just as important as the news.”

Truly local?

Some of the criticism laid at Patch’s feet has been that its sites aren’t truly local; that they are “local lite” if you will. For instance, a group of independent online local news publishers call themselves Authentically Local; the implication of course is that companies like Patch are neither one nor the other.

Where ads are concerned, independent publishers like Howard Owens (whose site is listed on Authentically Local as one of the founders) have stressed that they must be local and local only:

“Do you accept only locally owned businesses as advertisers? If you don’t, you should. You should make it part of your publicly known mission that your goal is to help locally owned businesses grow….  If your site currently has ad network ads, including Google AdWords, you need to remove that code from you site right now.  If you’re going to be beat Patch, you need to be all about local and only local.  And beat that drum as loudly and as often as you can.”

With that in mind, I asked Webster whether Patch was striving for a certain amount of local versus national ads on its sites. The answer seemed to be yes and no. “We don’t have a specific mix in mind, but we ideally want half or the majority of our advertising to come from the local community,” he said.

Looking at the four sites I surveyed, we can see that this goal is somewhat being met. If we only look at the local ad percentages (again, they are 0%, 20%, 34% and 43%) then the 50% mark certainly looks distant. However, if we consider both local and metro ads to be “local,” then the picture improves a bit and we would now see percentages of 41%, 56% and 49% on the three sites that have local ads (Note: I am uncertain why I saw no local ads on the Hermosa Beach site as its launch date is not the earliest of the four. There could of course be any number of explanations.)

By the way, I did ask Webster if he was aware of Authentically Local and how he felt about independent news sites in general.

Taking a conciliatory tone, Webster said that Patch didn’t begrudge any of their companions in the local news space. “We want them to succeed,” he went as far as to say, though it’s unclear whether Patch’s definition of success would match that of the indie site operators’.  “We look at everyone trying to solve this [local] problem as a partner. We may just be taking a different approach. We believe that we can serve our markets better by having a large organization behind it while still having the site run by an editor who lives and works in the town. I think there’s room for all of us to help figure out what the model will eventually be that works for local news.”

Independent publishers weigh in

To get an idea of how the ad numbers I collected looked to people who had experience selling such ads, I turned to some independent publishers.
Mike Fourcher of the Center Square Journal and other community sites in Chicago neighborhoods remarked that the Patch rate card seemed incredibly expensive in comparison with his. He wasn’t sure how Patch’s financial picture would work if the numbers I collected were in line with other Patch sites. For example, Fourcher charges $500 (corrected from $400) per month for his best ad placement, a left sidebar on the front page. The most closely comparable Patch placement runs $1,200 per month, a huge difference indeed.

The aforementioned Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, was unsure if the numbers showed any strategic vision on Patch’s part far as ad sales were concerned. “To build an advertising business you need to know what you want to accomplish, which is more than ‘sell a lot of ads’ or ‘become profitable’—those are by-products of solid strategic business goals, not the goals themselves,” Owens said.  He also sharply questioned the selling of national ads alongside local ones and asserted that one is not compatible with the other. “They’re trying to serve two masters—one that is entirely metric driven and another that is much more about relationships and the contextual environment.”

Methodology

As with my earlier post on Patch’s content, I studied ads on the four sites I tracked on four weekdays each in August. I counted ads on the homepage, the other top-level categories that have ads on their main pages (News, Events, Places, Marketplace, Q&A) and also the Local Voices and Announcements sections under the News heading.
Since each viewing of a given page doesn’t necessarily display the same ads each time, I refreshed each page I looked at five times. If an ad appeared on more than one refresh, it was only counted once. However, ads for the same advertiser appearing on more than one category page were counted separately each time.

If you have a question about the methodology or anything else is unclear, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be happy to address it.

Previously: Patch by the numbers 1: Content

Anna Tarkov is a blogger and journalist obsessed with media and politics and especially passionate about reforming the news business. Find Anna on her blog and on Twitter.

The News Leadership 3.0 blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

February 10, 2012

From news publisher to convener: Making the shift to build community in Iowa

By Amy Gahran

A regional economic development initiative in Iowa has captured the imagination of Chuck Peters, longtime head of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Getting directly involved meant facing a quandary: How could a news organization consistently support this initiative without becoming a crusader for it? The answer: become a convener of the public discussion…

A stretch of East-Central Iowa (around Iowa City and Cedar Rapids) has long been home to a unique convergence of business, technology, higher education, science, and the arts. All these forces recently banded together under the Iowa’s Creative Corridor initiative to work to enhance the region’s collective competitiveness.

Chuck Peters, president and CEO of The Gazette Co. (which publishes the daily Cedar Rapids Gazette and runs the local ABC TV affiliate station KCRG), decided to get his company involved. For about two decades he’d been discussing “systems thinking” and community development with Les Garner, former president of Cornell College and current president of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. And he’d also been working with John Lohman of the local Corridor Business Journal.

“Then we had that big flood here. Everybody was focused on cleaning up their own mess. John and I said we seemed to be the primary ones who cared about future of the region as a region. So we decided to join forces and try to promote the region.”

So the two media companies began a quasi-formal relationship with the Corridor Business Alliance, and formed Corridor2020—highlighting the alliance of 13 local economic development groups. Peters and Lohman began attending meetings and providing some money and in-kind support for the alliance’s efforts. Peters also summarized a major report advising the region on branding and development opportunities, and wrote an internal guidance document for Source Media Group (the trade name for the combined news and sales operations of the Gazette and KCRG). Lohman wrote an FAQ about the ICC initiative.

...Those are a lot of dense, weighty documents flying around, mostly talking about how to brand the region. But branding is no trivial matter.

“I’ve spent most of the last week explaining to people, if you think of branding as meaning a logo and advertising, that won’t help us much,” said Peters. “In the big picture, we actually need to develop regional capabilities for being collaborative and innovative. We can’t accomplish that without a shared vision of what that means.”

Defining what role a news company could or should play in moving the ICC initiative forward was a challenge. “How could we actively work to foster regional collaboration and innovation? As opposed to what we had been doing, which was to be a coconspirator in a culture of passivity,” said Peters.

“We had to change some basic things about the way we do our work. We’ve always been distanced observers lobbing articles into the community, often framing issues as contention of horserace. That just discourages people from engaging.”

The Gazette Co. decided to become a convener of public discussion around topics related to regional collaboration and development. This means planning and participating in public forums and other events, and producing new kinds of content.

“The news industry is so locked into the format of articles and video clips, but those are such incredibly ineffective tools when you’re trying to help a community understand an issue and come to consensus,” he said.

The newspaper and TV station are beginning to experiment with techniques used by the Khan Academy, such as using mindmaps as a way to illuminate connections between various issues and perspectives—and also to probe not just what people in the region want, but why they want it.

“It’s amazing to have these conversations with our community,” said Peters. “Like if we’re discussing education: Someone will say ‘we must have great schools.’ OK, why? What do we want great schools to do for us? Unfold the potential of each child. Again, why? Is it because it’s morally correct, or because we want to have a kick-ass competitive economy? Well, we want both—but now that we’re clear on why we want great schools, that makes it easier to think creatively about how to achieve that goal.”

The thinking of Peters and others involved in the ICC initiative was spurred in part by Collaborate: Leading Regional Innovation Clusters, a 2010 report by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. While this report says little about the role of media organizations in regional development, there is a clear business motive for media companies to get involved. The report observes that “broadcast and media markets rely on a regional marketplace.”

The News Leadership 3.0 blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Knight Digital Media Center at USC is a partnership with the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The Center is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

March 13, 2012

Mobile skills: New gateway drug to community engagement

By Amy Gahran

This year, smartphones are beginning to comprise the majority of U.S. mobile handsets in use. So mobile skills are becoming crucial for anyone who wants to stay informed and connected, or to access jobs or services. The catch is, it’s often not easy for consumers to learn how to use mobile devices well.

Partnerships between public libraries, community news/information projects, and other community stakeholders could play a key role in helping to bridge the mobile skills gap—while engaging communities in the process…

Digital media is the channel of choice for most new community news and information projects, mainly because it’s cheaper and easier to create a digital presence than a print or broadcast product. Most of these projects focus on websites intended to be viewed on a computer. But in the next couple of years, mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and whatever comes next) are expected to become the most common way that people access the internet in the U.S.

Recently the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation held a conference exploring the future of libraries in the digital world. Watching Knight’s collection of video interviews with eight public library directors who attended this conference, I was struck by how often the themes of an education mission, digital literacy, and getting out into the community were mentioned—yet mobile technology was not mentioned by any of the library directors.

In fact, only James Crawford, the engineering director for the Google Books project, mentioned mobile technology in his interview from that conference: “Tablets and mobile devices allow libraries to extend their services out into the community,” he observed.

For more than a decade, public libraries and schools have been key community resources for free access to the internet via computers. And for many people this access has been a lifeline for access to jobs, education, information, connection with friends and family, and more.

Libraries are now extending this digital literacy mission to take computer skills training beyond the library and into the community—by holding training sessions at community centers, assisted living or senior centers, and elsewhere, often in cooperation with other community organizations and institutions. But this approach requires buying computers, arranging for mobile access to wifi, transporting all that gear around, and getting it set up and running.

That costs a lot of money, requires finagling with setting up wifi networks, and it overlooks a key opportunity: Teaching community members how to make the best use of the mobile devices many of them already have in their hands—and which many people consider indispensable to daily life.

Mobile skills don’t necessarily replace computer skills, at least not yet. But imparting good mobile skills has the engagement advantage of helping people realize greater immediate benefits from the devices and connectivity they already own—and that they carry everywhere they go. They won’t have to buy a computer, get broadband at home, or make a trip to a library or community center in order to put their newfound mobile skills to good use—or to improve their lives and communities in the process.

Consequently, mobile skills training might be a powerful “gateway drug” for community engagement. Especially if it’s focused on using web-enabled phones to meet pressing real needs, rather than more abstract learning.

For instance, many consumers don’t know how much about how to use the web or e-mail on their smartphone or tablet—or even on a feature phone, since many feature phones are capable of web and e-mail access. Yet the mobile web and e-mail can be key tools to access to news, information, jobs, social media, and more.

So a mobile training session geared toward, say, using your cell phone to find a job might include teaching:

  • How to use e-mail on your phone. (Employers and interactive systems must have a way to contact you.)
  • How to bookmark some key mobile-friendly job and networking sites on your phone. (Monster.com, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Guidance on setting up your profile and resumé on these services. (This may need to be done on a computer, but generally you can at least handle the basics via a mobile web browser, and finish later on a computer.)
  • Tips on searching for and responding to job listings from your phone.


Note that all of these job-search skills also have other uses. If you know how to use e-mail on your phone, a world of digital interaction and connection becomes open to you—as well as the ability to subscribe to e-mail alerts and newsletters (perhaps from a community news or information providers, or your local library or school).

And if you know how to bookmark mobile-friendly job sites in your mobile browser, you can bookmark any mobile web site—such as a blog run by a local community organization, or a health information resource.

And if you learn how to fill out a mobile form to create a user account on a job site, you learn a basic skill for interacting with any digital service—such as social media, or subscribing to alerts from your local government.

And if you learn how to search a jobs site from your phone, you’ve learned the basic concept of doing any kind of web-based search on your phone.

And if you learn how the computer-based web and mobile web (or mobile apps) can complement each other, what their respective strengths and weaknesses are, you provide a motivation for people who might only have a cell phone to also get a tablet or computer, so they can have expanded access.

Positioning training to align with the community’s priorities is key to demonstrating its relevance and increasing its appeal. Consider which approach might be more effective to get the attention of community members: a generic class in computer skills (especially when many people might not have their own computer or broadband internet), vs. how to use your phone to find a job.

Once people get started with digital interaction and media, on any device, they’re likely to keep using it and build upon that base of knowledge—and to teach others what they’ve learned.

Community news and information outlets, libraries, schools and other key players with a mission to serve their communities should consider adding mobile skills training to their outreach efforts. One resource advantage of this approach is that you probably won’t have to buy as much equipment, or mess around with network access so much. However, you will have to invest in learning the basics of a few different kinds of mobile operating systems, and learn about the various kinds of e-mail service and basic data plans that wireless carriers offer.

Aside from mobile skills training, community members probably will also want help understanding what they can and can’t do with their phone without incurring extra fees. Asking people to bring a current cell phone bill into the library or other public venue, so you can see the kind of plan they’re on and look up details online, can help people gain confidence to do more with the phones they already have.

As low-cost Android tablets (such as the Kindle Fire) increase in popularity, it may make sense to also offer training in using the web browser and apps on these mobile devices, since they can do much more than just let people buy and read books. With a larger screen size than mobile phones, these devices can also be a great way to showcase community news and information resources intended for the computer-based web.

For any mobile training, a printed list of free public wifi hotspots in your community and their hours of availability can help people with wifi-enabled devices (but limited or no carrier data plans) find the access points most convenient to them. This can be especially valuable as many libraries are having to curtail operating hours and close branches due to funding challenges; and many nonprofits and community news outlets aren’t able to sustain multiple physical locations.

Finally, making sure your own digital presence is mobile friendly and accessible through a variety of mobile channels (mobile web, e-mail, and social media are the basics—although text messaging interaction and mobile apps might make sense in some cases) is another important way to build on the initial engagement of training. This is how you can help the people your train stay connected with your organization and mission.

What it means to be digitally literate is changing fast. Training is a powerful type of engagement, but it must keep pace with the times and make full use of available resources. Once you have the attention of your community, where they are, at any time, you have even more opportunity to help them improve their lives and enhance their individual and collective opportunities. Perhaps even more important, right now, than training them how to use a computer mouse.

The News Leadership 3.0 blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

April 17, 2012

Local news enthusiasts: Pew research hints at opportunities for ethnic, community media

By Amy Gahran

The vast majority of U.S. adults are really into local news, Pew research shows. How might ethnic and community media outlets capitalize on this as more media goes digital and mobile?...

Over a year ago, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 72% of U.S. adults say they follow local news closely most of the time, whether or not some important local news is happening. Today, a new Pew report takes a closer look at this group of “local news enthusiasts.”

According to Pew, local news enthusiasts are more likely to be female, age 65 or older, and retired. “Politically, they tend to be conservative in their outlook (although they do not differ from others in party identification) and they also attend religious services more frequently than others. They do not differ from other adults in terms of household income, but are less likely to be college graduates.”

In terms of ethnicity, the vast majority (69%) of local news enthusiasts are white, Pew found. Black and Hispanic adults each comprise 13% of local news enthusiasts—roughly equivalent to the representation of these ethnic groups among the U.S. population at large.

Interestingly, adults with the lowest annual household income ($30,000 or less) were by far most likely to be keen on local news: 32% describe themselves as local news enthusiasts, compared to 22% in the highest income bracket (over $75,000). People with $$50,000-$74,999 annual household income had the lowest representation among local news enthusiasts (12%).

This finding indicates that ethnic and community news and media might be especially likely to gain traction in poorer communities and low-income demographics within communities—a point that might interest local advertisers and sponsors wishing to reach those communities.

Local news enthusiasts don’t all have gray hair. Fully one fourth are age 18-24. However, according to Pew this is the only age group where “other adults” outnumber local news enthusiasts—by almost two to one. This hints that right now is probably a crucial time to engage younger people in local news and information.

Digital media, including mobile and social media, might be particularly valuable in engaging younger people in local news and information. Pew noted: “91% of younger local news followers are internet users, compared with 71% of local news followers age 40 and older, and 82% of adults who do not follow local news closely.”

For contrast, another recent Pew study found that 20% of U.S. adults—mostly those over age 50—still don’t use the internet at all.

Also according to Pew, 73% of younger local news enthusiasts use some kind of social networking service (such as Facebook), compared with 35% of older local news followers and 53% of adults who do not follow local news closely. Twitter is not quite as popular—only 16% of younger local news followers use Twitter, but that’s far more than older local news enthusiasts or other adults. This indicates that using social media to complement your local news and information offerings on the web and in other media might be an especially effective tool for engaging younger community members.

Mobile devices represent a huge opportunity for ethnic and community media. Overall, 84% of local news enthusiasts have a cell phone, and 7% have a tablet computer—slightly less than penetration among all other adults. Also, Pew found the highest penetration of both types of mobile devices is among the youngest local news enthusiasts (under age 40).

This Pew report did not explore how many local news enthusiasts currently use smartphones. However, this year marks the tipping point when smartphones take over as the majority of U.S. handsets in use. Also, most simpler, cheaper “feature phones” are capable of browsing the web and accessing e-mail—and virtually all cell phones can send and receive text messages.

This means that a robust, inclusive mobile strategy (ideally one that includes text messaging alerts or interactivity) can help any local or niche news outlet connect with its community via the devices that most people already carry with them everywhere they go. Also, since social media is one of the most popular things that younger people do on their cell phones, social media can help jumpstart your mobile strategy.

Online media is definitely not the leading source of local news for local news enthusiasts—which may put online-only ethnic or community news and info outlets at a bit of a comparative disadvantage. According to Pew, enthusiasts’ most popular sources of local news are broadcast TV (80%), word of mouth (57%), radio (52%) and print (48%). In contrast, 41% of local news enthusiasts use search engines to find local news, 23% turn to the websites of local newspapers (TV stations sites, 20%), and 12% get their local news from social networking sites.

This points out an opportunity to leverage partnerships for cross-media promotion. For instance, online-only ethnic or community news outlets might provide some articles or other content to run in local newspapers, in exchange for the print outlet providing information about how to find the ethnic/community news site or do other cross-promotion. Similarly, providing simple, short, broadcast-quality audio or video news segments or community updates to local radio or TV stations could help broaden your audience. Many local stations are eager to run such content.

Finally, ethnic and community news sites with a strong mission to improve local communities may be encouraged by this Pew finding: “Slightly more local news enthusiasts than others think they can have a big impact on making their community a better place to live (33% vs. 27%).”

The News Leadership 3.0 blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

July 11, 2012

How RJI’s mobile news research could expand to benefit community news

By Amy Gahran

This summer, Roger Fidler of the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute has been releasing the results of his detailed research into how people are using mobile devices to access news.

This is an excellent resource for major national and metro news organizations. Here are a few thoughts on how this kind of research might be extended to also benefit community and niche news outlets—an important emerging part of the digital news landscape…

From January through March, RJI staff interviewed more than 1,000 people contacted via randomly selected phone numbers. More than half were cell phone numbers. The results were published in three parts:


This was an appreciable undertaking, and the results are useful, especially to large news outlets. But to benefit smaller community news outlets, more examination of nuance would be helpful. If this research project is to be continued or extended, RJI might consider adding questions to explore three vital topics:

1. Distinguish between national/metro vs. community/local news. According to RJI’s survey, 63% of mobile device owners use these devices to “keep up with the news”—and these people spend an average of five hours per week doing this.

However, RJI apparently did not distinguish between national, global, state, and metro area news vs. community or hyperlocal news. Asking specifically about how people use mobile devices to access community news might be revealing.

This could complement the excellent September 2011 Pew Internet report, How People Learn About Their Local Community. It included a section on the role of mobile devices and social networks, which noted that 25% of all adults said they use mobile devices to get news about their local community.

2. Ask about text alerts. A simple text message is more like “lean media” than “rich media.” RJI’s research focused on mobile media devices—a key characteristic of which was that they “are designed primarily for consuming and interacting with mixed-media content.”

This definition left feature phones and texting out of the picture. But according to comScore’s latest estimate, over half of U.S. mobile handsets in use still are feature phones.

Aside from the fact that feature phones remain popular in many communities (particularly for low-income households and seniors), and that many models now come with web browsers, virtually every mobile phone can send and receive text messages. And aside from voice calls, texting is the most popular thing that mobile users in all demographics do with their phones—even on smartphones.

Opt-in text alerts can be a powerful tool to drive mobile users to mobile news—mixed, rich, or otherwise. And they can be particularly useful for community news publishers.

3. Ask about sharing or posting photos or video. People use their phones (even feature phones) to take and share photos or videos of what they see around them. This is an inherently local activity, usually with far greater relevance to local publishers and communities than mass media news outlets.

RJI’s survey inquired about “creating and managing content” which they defined as “creating, editing or managing non-work or education-related content such as documents, photos, videos, music.” This is valuable, but within that large category it’s photos and videos which are most likely to have specific news value or community relevance. Understanding more about mobile users’ propensity to create or enhance news coverage, as well as consume news, would benefit all news outlets—but probably especially community news publishers.

The News Leadership 3.0 blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Knight Digital Media Center at USC is a partnership with the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The Center is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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