There’s a great deal of discussion in the US media space about how local newspapers, TV and radio stations can survive in very testing financial circumstances. Michael Bloomberg might have made just provided a half billion boost with his failed bid for the Democratic nomination but that hasn’t gone to the grassroots where newsrooms and local outlets continue to struggle.
The discussion within industry circles centres on what the potential solutions might be and two recent articles have caught our eye this week looking at the various debates.
Revenue is crucial
Mark Glaser suggests we look at 5 BUSINESS MODELS FOR LOCAL NEWS TO WATCH IN 2020 and among things he suggest media look at include non-profit status and also cooperative models.
The issue of revenue streams is crucial because local media desperately needs a boost. Particularly in a presidential election year, the value of high quality local reporting is appreciated even more keenly. And good journalism costs money.
According to Pew Research, from 2008 to 2018, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 25%. In 2008, about 114,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers and videographers – worked in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and “other information services” (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2018, the report says, that number had declined to about 86,000, a loss of about 28,000 jobs.
A mix of revenue streams is the best approach
At Evvnt we certainly don’t imagine we can save the newspaper industry but we do want to be part of the mix when it comes to seeing an improved ecosystem. Nancy Lane, CEO of the Local Media Association (LMA) chimes closely with the Evvnt philosophy with her article titled A Healthy Local Media Ecosystem Needs Many Players.
Richard Green, Evvnt CEO says: “Events are local. Community media is local. It’s time to use the World Wide Web to knit the two together. I know that event organisers are willing to pay a fair price to promote their event if it means that attendance and ticket sales go up. Newspapers are struggling and TV and radio stations, much beloved by their neighbourhoods, need income to survive and keep on reporting. Event marketing can be part of the mix. I want to support vibrant communities, bursting with activities and show that we can also nourish high-quality local media organisations by spreading the word about what’s going on in every neighbourhood in the US.”