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The future of local news is “civic information,” not “declining legacy systems,” says new report
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Articles by Christine Schmidt

Christine Schmidt is a staff writer at the Lab after having been its 2017 Google News Lab Fellow. Previous newsrooms include The Dallas Morning News, NBC4 in Los Angeles, the Hartford Courant, and a short stint at Snapchat. She hails from Chicago’s Southside Irish and can only give recommendations for thin crust pizza.
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“It was a good sandbox to see if there’s a market for these sponsored content pieces, to see how we’d treat them in a design and workflow way, to see if there’s an appetite for people who would pay for it. Now, several years later, we realize we answered all those affirmatively.”
“A small reservoir of goodwill exists toward local news organizations because they are local, but this could quickly dry up if Americans perceive more political bias in coverage.”
“We have to continually work with our audience to make sure they love us later as much as they love us now.”
“We knew the content had value. What we’re trying to emphasize with our customers is that the content has value — that it’s either subscribe-able or worth paying for.”
Just as blogging allowed a new cadre of journalists to work outside established news organizations in the early 2000s, the email newsletter boom has done the same in local communities. “This is more than 40 hours a week for far less than minimum wage. To be frank, it’s exhausting. I only do it because it’s so important.”
“It’s more similar to an Audible.com subscription, where you’re getting access to this huge library of journalism, than it is to a daily news subscription.”
“With this agreement, I am convinced we have assured the revival of The Times under local ownership.”