Mark Josephson, CEO of New York-based Outside.in, thinks he can save newspapers. His site is a news and information aggregation start-up that focuses on "hyperlocal" interests and issues. While reflecting upon all the recent coverage on how spectacularly newspapers and other printed media are failing, he thinks more constructive discussion needs to happen. Why not? As Josephson says, "It's time to start getting into details about what newspapers and local media companies need to know. How do they reduce cost, grow revenue and produce a competitive and compelling editorial product?" Josephson's new model, formulated to provide value to publishers, bloggers and consumers, is based on three basic concepts: Aggregate, Curate and Network.
Since readers already have other sources for news on the nation, sports, finance and entertainment, competition needs to get more local. Hyperlocality answers the question: "What's happening right around me right now?" Instead of hiring to create content, the solution is to aggregate pre-existing sources, unlocking the targeting potential available.
In order to tailor that aggregated data, editorial decisions need to be made in order to ensure a cohesive voice. Since the new model is not creating its own content, curatorial decisions will be made with other people's content, as well as to decide what belongs on the front page.
Newspapers need to become the network: solving revenue and inventory challenges by creating local sales teams to sell local advertising - down to neighborhoods - increasing business viability in a way that national ad networks cannot. Ad networks are still growing, and the new model will leverage blog and hyperlocal media relationships to take advantage of the networks' profitability.
These three pillars of the New News Model create hyperlocal publishing content as it simultaneously provides blog traffic and revenue. Still nascent local advertising is projected to reach $10 billion in five years. Even if quixotic, the model offers hope to all levels of content creation.