By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

An experiment in local news is growing

Congratulations to Howard Owens, publisher and editor of the Batavian, who this week announced two part-time hires for his pioneering news site, one on the news side, the other in advertising. Significantly, his new reporter, Brittany Baker, recently lost her job at the local newspaper, the Daily News.

Owens continues to prove that it’s possible to build a successful for-profit community news site if you’re willing to work hard — although, as he is quick to point out, he works no harder than the pizza-shop owners and other entrepreneurs who advertise on his site.

Community journalism has never been a way to get rich. What Owens is proving is that the cheap and free tools of the Web make it possible to restore mom-and-pop independent local news of the sort that graced every city and town up until a generation or two ago.

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1 Comment

  1. Just catching up … thanks for the post, Dan.

    I’m glad you picked up on the fact that while I put in a lot of hours, that’s typical of many small businesses, especially in the start up years.

    Also, I’m proud of the fact that we’re showing — along with, for example, West Seattle Blog — that there is an opportunity for enterprising news junkies to make a go of it in small town news, such as was common many moons ago.

    And the snarky side of me wants to ask, where are all the Media Nation commenters from two years go who said we would be out of business within three months?

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