Hyperlocal News Manifesto – An Area in Which Charlottesville Excels

Local news reporting matters.

Charlottesville is lucky to have great local news and great local blogs that serve to make Charlottesville a better place.

I believe local journalism, local government and local economies are the linchpins of a vibrant, healthy nation. For decades, as conglomerates swallowed up independent news outlets across the nation (our own local paper, Bay News, is owned by News Corp. – the same company that owns Fox News and the New York Post, for example), local coverage was watered down because community reporting is expensive, and stockholders want dividends. And because corporations can view employees as easily replaceable cogs, one reporter who lives in the community and has covered it for decades is just as valuable as one straight out of journalism school three states over.

But community reporting requires more than cogs. It requires more than an academic familiarity of those it covers. What meaningful local reporting requires is a personal investment. If the reporter doesn’t stand to benefit from a healthy community, his coverage will serve to dramatize and exacerbate problems rather than solve them.

When Sheepshead Bites ventures to cover the community, we do it because we’re neighbors. Our writers live here. Our business is based here. And we endeavor to support and uplift our neighbors for all of our benefit.

Thanks to Charlottesville Tomorrow, The HooK, C-VILLE and all the local Charlottesville blogs that keep me (and my clients and the community) informed.

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3 Comments

  1. Jennifer Marley May 3, 2012 at 13:20

    Brian Wheeler and I got to meet Nate from Sheepshead Bites at a conference last year, and his synopsis of why local news created by locals is important is dead-on. Thanks for seeing value in what we do, and being so involved in this community.

    Reply
  2. frank dubec May 7, 2012 at 20:19

    Cville and C’ville = Charlottesville.
    C-VILLE = C-VILLE Weekly, the newspaper.

    Hyper-local branding matters. 

    xxoo.

    Reply
    1. Jim Duncan May 8, 2012 at 05:45

      Fixed. I bet stuff like that wouldn’t happen if I had an editor.

      Reply

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