December 27th, 2008
When neighborhood news blogs own hyperlocal: An interview with Tracy Record of West Seattle Blog
By Angela Connor
This is a cross-post from my blog, Online Community Strategist.
Tracy Record, editor and co-publisher of West Seattle Blog took the time to answer a few of my questions during the biggest snow storm in recent Seattle history and for that I am grateful.
I asked Tracy why news organizations haven’t figured out how to own hyperlocal, and here is what she had to say:
“The question for some is really, SHOULD they? I think that newspapers, which even with their much-lamented cuts still have comparatively HUGE content staffs – I spent most of my old-media career in TV news, where you might have a dozen reporters/editorial managers spread across seven days and three dayparts, while big dailies still have dozens – should focus on context and perspective. Until and unless we add more staff, I can’t do that in a major way, though we do longer-form articles and enterprised stories/features when we can, and look for alternate ways of offering context and empowering people to find it themselves. Aside from that, some companies still think all they have to do is aggregate their content that mentions or targets a given neighborhood and voila! it’s “hyperlocal.” Doesn’t work. There’s no “there” there, and if ever you need a “there,” it’s when covering a “here.” You need a trusted guide, a sense of neighborhood, even if that person/team (like us) doesn’t give opinions.”
Tracy also discusses whether or not neighborhood blogs are a viable option for laid-off journalists.
You can read the full interview, here: Building community around neighborhood news: An interview with tracy Record of West Seattle Blog (Part 1 of 2)