Hyperlocal Papers Head in a New DirectionPosted: September 14, 2011
As newspapers struggle to stay afloat editors must discover more interesting ways to present the news. An online hyperlocal publication in has reverted to classic reporting with a twist, and it seems to be working.
Baristanet is an online paper set in Montclair, New Jersey that focuses on Montclair and its surrounding towns. Site founder Debbie Galant and her Daily editor Erika Bleiberg can work from a coffee shop and run their paper, taking tips from anyone who walks in the door or posts online.
The paper focuses on a life on the street feel rather than following traditional trends and staying formal. Baristanet could potentially start a shift towards an informal and more personal style of reporting for local papers.
“We’re not the newspaper of record,” Galant says. “We go for more of a life on the street feel, finding the things you see out of the corner of your eye that are interesting. We want to start a conversation. If you read Baristanet, you’ll be versed. If you go to a dinner party, you’ll have something to talk about.”
Instead of covering everything from city council meetings to a local’s vacation adventure, newpapers are readjusting and the future appears to be veering away from the comprehensive format.