Nieman Foundation at Harvard
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Archives: May 2015

Apple’s new wearable may or may not be a big hit. But either way, it’s a harbinger of a new class of truly personal devices whose users will demand customized experiences. News companies aren’t ready to provide them.
With venture funders itching for an exit, a few corporate giants — Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, the new Charter — could end up owning many of the entrepreneurial news brands that have captured attention in recent years. Big is eating small.
Students and Nieman Fellows spent a semester building solutions for audience engagement, better tools to explore data, and new ideas for local media startups.
At Mt. San Antonio College, they’ve traded in print for distributed publishing, focusing on realtime reporting and distribution: “We’re speaking the language of our generation.”
Launched by the former publisher of The Tulsa World, The Frontier is betting on a high-subscription-cost model — $30 per month! — to reach a core group of civically engaged locals.
The four-year-old program has helped boost the newspaper’s events business and helped strengthen relationships with the community through nights of storytelling.
The pricetag would be high, but it might be worth it to reassemble one part of the old newspaper bundle — tying together local news and local services.