The story here is about the way that nonprofits can use the error position in the community to cover stories and generate press. As mainstream media falls, people will still want news stories. People are still interested in coverage, the problem with the media is that they are being attacked on both sides of their business model. On the classifieds and advertising side they are getting pressure from online competitors, and as this story shows they are also getting be generating stories.
If news consumers will turn to bloggers and random people on the street, there is no reason to believe that they won't turn to local nonprofits as experts. It may be a two or three-year investment, but the value of dominating the web space on the coverage of your issue will be enormous.
It will be interesting to monitor the nonprofits to hire journalists to cover stories, or communities that get together to commission stories (spot.us).
REVERB CRIB Notes » we read it so you don’t have to.
According to Reuters Director of News Media Development, Chris Cramer, “Every key event going forward will be covered by members of the public, and not by traditional journalists.” At nearly every major event of the last few years–from the earthquake in Sichuan to the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks–journalists have been trumped by bystanders news-gathering with their cell phones, cameras, camcorders and blackberries. The effect on the newspapers industry has been devastating with media titans like the Tribune Company declaring bankruptcy and local papers like The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and 16 others) shuttering their D.C. news bureaus. The financial crisis and the Internet have created a perfect storm that is ending news as we know it. Why should local grassroots groups care? On one hand it’s going to be harder to get cash-strapped reporters to cover our events. And whatever minimal investigative reporting currently exists will surely fade into the background over the coming months and years.