Share or Save
  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    Hello JD,

    I hope the 'real' journalists won't mind me popping in to share my thoughts. For those who don't know me, while I studied journalism throughout high school I took a detour into computers in the middle of college and landed in blogging which had brought me at least partially back to journalism.

    I have a unique perspective on where journalists and print publications could choose to go. First I'd like to point out that while individual journalists were trained and did their best to be objective observers and report impartially, major media – especially today – is NOT impartial (and never really was completely) because even back when reporters were allowed to report objectively, those who could afford advertising DID impact what got published and how it was presented.

    Independent newspapers today can still be viable IF they recognize that there is one revenue stream that still really needs them: local small business. If they choose to combine social media and online marketing with collaborating with local bloggers (and I am doing my best to get bloggers to ALL add a local component) they can then reach their local audience.

    When that happens they will create a viable monetization method through advertising. Big brands and national and multi-national corporations do not need you and they control the major media. Small companies DO need you.

    Start featuring them in articles and they will buy extra copies and distribute them and show them off to their customers. Then offer a way for them to buy display advertising that links to the article where you featured them. Encourage them to offer coupons online and off and provide the means for them to easily manage them (the way Merchant Circle, Google Maps, Yelp, etc. do today).

    Instead of seeing online as competition for offline realize the best offer is to combine them both. Bloggers are NOT your competition. You can become leaders among bloggers and guide them into better practices and supporting your reporting and online presences. (Or send them to me for free mentoring – that is what I do every day.)

    Create collaborations of local bloggers like the one that Rohan Gilkes is building at districtblooms.com – there is another business model journalists can embrace. Bring together local bloggers and social media influencers and connect them with your advertisers.

    Teach your local bloggers How Bloggers And Small Businesses Can Conquer Cyberspace With Collaboration. That post has detailed information on how to make local coverage more compelling.

    I encourage everyone – journalists, bloggers and businesses – to work together to create strong local economies and a better standard of living through raising awareness of how shopping locally keeps tax revenue local to support a healthier community. We can all share why every person deserves a living wage and support the best in Fair Trade practices.

    Journalists once exposed corruption and created a better world. You CAN do that now. I am happy to discuss this with anyone who is interested and there are tons of resources about geographic niches and business blogging on my blog.

Mobile Theme | Switch To Regular Theme