Können Lokalblogs als Verlagsmodell funktionieren?

von Steffen Greschner am 16. Januar 2012 · 269 Kommentare

Die New York Times war eine der ersten Zeitungen, die mit The Local bereits 2009 ausgiebig mit lokalen Blogs getestet hat. Bereits 2010, ein Jahr nach Launch, wurden die Blogs in eine Kooperation mit der CUNY Journalism School überführt. Inzwischen wird ein Blog vom NYU Journalism Institute geführt.

Gegenüber StreetfightMag hat Projektleiterin Mary Ann Giordano einen interessanten Rückblick über die Erfahrungen und eine Zukunftsaussicht zu weiteren Hyperlocal-Aktivitäten der NYT gegeben:

We did pretty well in getting things going. People really liked the idea of a news source. We ran The Locals for almost a full year when there were cutbacks here, but we really were devoted to the sites and the news. We wanted to keep it going, so for Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, we found a partner in CUNY, at the Graduate School of Journalism. They’ve been running the site day-to-day in partnership with us. We could not find a similar partner for the New Jersey site.

We just felt after six months of running it on our own that we weren’t really developing it. We didn’t have the resources to learn anything new. These sites, from the beginning, were supposed to be laboratories for experiments, on every level. We wanted to shut that down. But then again, we’d been talking to NYU for a while, and we opened the East Village site that is run with the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU.

Für die Zukunft sieht die New York Times allerdings keinen direkten (wieder)Einstieg in das lokale Blog-Business. Es klingt fast so, als räume man das Feld für kleine, lokale Anbieter, die mit anderen Kostenstrukturen ein tragfähiges Geschäftsmodell entwickeln:

We need someone to figure out a very good business model. I know that Patch is trying very hard; they’re having some success. We’d love to see them succeed because we think we can. Let me put it this way: a lot of community bloggers are hoping to find a way to make a living because it’s a really fun way to do journalism.

We’re not going to move in that direction right now until there is a very clear business model for it. We get a lot of requests, particularly when we started up, people begging us to start one of these in their town. Everybody wants journalists. It was very heartening. It was a time when a lot of newspapers were closing and a lot of journalists were getting laid off, and here were all these people. And there was a lot of writing about how journalism was dead and nobody needs journalism any more, yet there were all these people who were reaching out and saying: come cover our town. Come write about what we’ve got going on here.

The question is, is there enough of a demand that you could make money and sustain yourself? It’s harder to sustain yourself when you’re the New York Times. If you’re a community blogger and you live in the neighborhood, you’re working out of your home. You pay yourself a salary. You can probably live off of it. Can that sustain a New York Times journalist and the salesperson? Not yet. Maybe someday it will, you know?

Wenn man der NYT glauben möchte, kommt die Zeit kleiner und unabhängiger Lokalmedien, die mit den Angeboten in Zukunft ein persönliches Auskommen finden werden. Die TegernseerStimme hatte Ende letztes Jahr bereits mit vielversprechenden Umsatzzahlen Mut gemacht.

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