This is what goes into a functioning news ecosystem

A functioning local news ecosystem, one that has mechanisms to ask tough questions and serve as a hub of a common set of facts for a region, seems to have some straightforward ingredients.

What traditionally drove a functioning modern news ecosystem (20th century)

  • PROFITABLE – Funding mechanism (advertising)
  • AUDIENCE – Mass dissemination tool (front page or TV news top)
  • COMPETITIVE – Connected network of reporters (newsroom) and competing mass audiences
  • IMPACT – Investigative journalism (ideological and financial subsidy)
  • DEPTH – Robust, focused news coverage (niche newspaper beat reporting)

What this might look like in the near future (and in some ways now)

  • PROFITABLE – Funding mechanism (patchwork of profitable sites, technologies, new orgs with journalism DNA and more focused legacy, philanthropic outlets)
  • AUDIENCE – Mass dissemination tool (top-level aggregation, applications) to service fractured landscape made up of far smaller, much deeper niche communities
  • COLLABORATIVE – Connected network of reporters (news coworking), link building, partnership-driven, fewer big players, more smaller oens
  • IMPACT – Investigative journalism (new nonprofit organizations, journalism DNA), bigger audience for community-focused efforts
  • DEPTH – Robust, focused news coverage (crowd sourcing, social media, niche blogs and indie sites)

So looking at your market, what is lacking? Set about serving that role.