I was interviewed yesterday by the French media publication INAGlobal about the future of regional newspapers. It is a well known fact that they are in deep trouble. Their very successful formula that offered to a large readership a bundle of national news, extensive local news, info service, classified ads and commercial advertising doesn't function anymore. It appears that people want just to satisfy very personal needs. They get what they want through Google, the social networks and various applications easy to consult on their smartphones.
And yet, local life is a breeding ground for a lot of very interesting information. When a big event happens in Ferguson, Missouri, the national medias are at pains to collect the proper pieces of news that will help their audience to understand what is happening. So, in the US, the Guardian has decided to build up a working relationship with several local dailies to improve this understanding.
It seems however that this sharing of information is more profitable to a popular national website such as Guardian USA than to more modest local publications. And there is no money exchange while the financing of local news collection gets more and more uneasy with the collapse of classified and the limited success of paywalls.
As I said to my friend of INAGlobal, solutions are hard to find. Maybe the national media will have to contribute much more to the working of local networks.