Last year, in an effort to provide its users more local news, Facebook launched Today In, a local news aggregator. The only issue? In many regions, there simply isn’t enough local news to aggregate.
According the Wall Street Journal, the bar to get the aggregator to a city is at least five articles pertaining to that city per day. While that might not seem like a hard ask, Today In has not reached many cities, including high-density areas, which may be a worrisome signifier about the health of local news.
The Wall Street Journal cites research that says one in five papers have closed in the last fifteen years -- and online publications haven’t quite filled the void.
Why is local news on the decline? If the ad revenue model is no longer profitable, what other models have been tried and have been successful?
Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota
Ken Doctor, media analyst who focuses on the transformation of consumer media in the digital age; author of “Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get” (St. Martin’s Press, 2010)