Are local news manageable in the new digital age? This is a big question for American and French regional newspapers. As far as national and foreign news are concerned, the answer is getting quite clear. It is now possible to launch websites that attract a huge public and can be profitable. The last Pew report on news states very clearly that after ten years of search and failures, things are starting to move in the right direction. In France, the success of Mediapart shows that we can have our own Politico.
For local news, there is no proper issue. The fact is that regional dailies built their success on an efficient mix-up of information and useful data on day to day life. 30 years ago, you had to buy the paper to know what was happening in cinemas, theatres, concert halls, shopping centres and also the sporting life. To day, you just need to connect for free to the right website, such as Allo Cine or the city hall site and you get from home every kind of information you need to survive in the big city.
In fact, the global newspaper is slowly vanishing. Now, you have a local news press agency that provides you with pieces of information you don't always need and current life websites managed by people who are not journalists. What could happen next? We'll discuss it in another blog.