J-lab releases study into hyper-local news success
Jan Schaffer over at J-lab has some really important insights into the real challenges of setting up and running hyper local news operations.
They have just released, “New Voices: What Works.” an indepth study of 46 news start-ups they have funded. Jan says that the report focuses on 10 key takeaways. They include:
- Engagement, not just content, is key: Robust and frequent content begets more content, but it’s the engagement with users that make sites successful.
- Sweat equity counts for a lot: Projects built on the grit and passion of the founders have created the most promising models for sustainability.
- Community news sites are not a business yet. Income from grants, ads, events and other things falls short, in most cases, of paying staff salaries and operating expenses.
- Demand for start-up funding is high. We had 1,433 applicants for the 55 projects that were funded.
It sounds fascinating stuff and would encourage everyone to have a look and feed back to them. I am sure they would appreciate it.