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Monday, March 29, 2010


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Frank Simpson

While I do not deny the "reality" of hyperlocal "news" coming from bloggers, I do have a few (rhetorical) questions offered in no particular order. In some instances, I will offer an answer

1. Is hyperlocal a symptom of the failure of the traditional news media to adjust? Obviously, yes.

2. Given the rapid changes in technology, is there any way the traditional media could adjust? Probably not.

3.With the trend to hyperlocal, is there a risk of balkanization? In other words, my 'Hood is the only thing I am interested in and the heck with everyone else.

4. Is hyperlocal merely a transition point to something else in terms of communication or "news" reporting...or is it the last dying gasp of our society? On this, I am not so sure.

5. With the move to "electronic reading" and in particular on mobile devices as opposed to computer screens, will we lose substance? I suspect the answer is yes and 150 to 200 words and maybe a quick photo, just ain't gonna tell the story. It is the reality, however. Hence, I am reassessing whether I should spend as much time as I do creating photos arrays and writing 800 word articles. Ain't any point in doing so.

6. Are we in a world where the flow of information is more important than the content? Yup!

7. Setting aside the question how one can makes a living in this world and setting aside the question of the quality of the information. I wonder if the "citizen journalists" will be able to claim protection of the shield laws when they are sued or are asked to produce information behind their blogs. Now that will be interesting. In theory, they are covered if acting as journalists. On the other hand, they had better have a good handle on the laws of libel. One of these days, somebody is going to get a big lesson on this point.


as usual, you raise some excellent points, Frank. Ironically, I have found that the inclusion of Twitter in my daily scope has brought me in contact with links to all sorts of excellent and informative journalism from around the world which have, in turn, expanded my personal horizons considerably and brought a breath of fresh air to the my regular news intake. Whilst hyperlocal might refer to the 'hood, it can also include areas of specific interest around the globe or within a community of like-minded individuals posting on their areas of expertise.

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Hi! I'm Frances Rivetti — lifestyle journalist, author, culture seeker
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