Monday, March 31, 2014

More on local news

The collection of local news is an expensive process. Until now, it was financed by the print papers, thanks to sales and a very profitable advertising policy. In 2014, things look a bit different. The overall cost is the same, about 600 millions euros for France and for salaries only but the  press income is going down as   classified ads are massively moving to Internet.

Sure, a website covering current affairs for a 800 000 people metropolis should be fairly cheap. No print and no delivery charges. Just salaries for 4 journalists, 10 local correspondents a sales manager  and 2 technicians plus overhead expenses. An annual budget of 700 000 euros should be enough to provide a permanent flow of texts and videos.

However, it could be difficult to finance it. The audience would be limited because of so many specialized sites such as Allo Cine that offer useful information for free. That means that a paywall would not work and that advertising is risky.

So what could be the solution? Most likely an enlargement of the offer with connections to other websites devoted to sports, fooding, entertainment. It would mean the slow building up of a loyal public and a network of shops, sporting clubs, various associations, each willing to pay a small fee to be registered and promoted.

It would be a fairly long process but there is probably no other opportunity to succeed on the local market.