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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Is all news local? It soon may be

The Star Tribune has another article about how it will be retooling its coverage to make it more local. For those not in the the know, those trying to save the general media on Wall Street (or at least those trying to squeeze larger margins out of it) have determined that the magic formula is something called "hyperlocalism" (although I have not heard the folks at the Strib actually use the dreaded "h" word yet).

Wikipedia defines it this way: The term "hyperlocal" is sometimes used to refer to news coverage of community-level events usually overlooked by mainstream media outlets. Of course, if more and more mainstream media outlets are now turning hyperlocal, the definition seems a little disingenuous and self-defeating -- but I will use it for want of a better one.

The hyperlocal trend/idea is why we keep hearing Strib management repeating -- as the editor reportedly did in a newsroom meeting yesterday -- that Bloomington, with about 84,000 residents, is one of the largest cities in the state -- yet there's no Bloomington reporter on staff.

I have seen mention in the Strib on several occasion now that there is no local daily Bloomington newspaper and that the Strib has no Bloomington bureau. Now I have nothing against Bloomington, but I sure am getting tired of hearing it used as an example. Why doesn't the Strib just open up a branch office near the Baby Gap in the Mall of America and be done with it?

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