There are many interesting stories from the last few years and especially over Covid 19 crisis that suggest that hyper-local news is wanted by communities.

People want local, dependable news and the crisis of fake news and the lockdown has just brought this need into real focus. Local newspapers traditionally provided a response, but that model is struggling. Newspapers are dying. Long live newspapers – but using a different model!

The lockdown has also shown that, the story is what’s important, not the camera used as just about anyone has been providing content for mainstream news, from their bedroom. Including the professionals.

Another result of the world-wide reaction to Covid 19 has been by advertisers, who have stayed away. They don’t want to be associated with the rolling bad news. So, they are very sensitive and demand deep analytics for Return on Investment.

NEP Broadcasting Truck
Local TV does not need a lot of kit and hardware, this would be all centralised with View TV

So, what can be made of this for media companies; say a newspaper, radio or TV channel, to get ahead of the curve?

Here’s a model to enable the best of all worlds:

Traditional local news journalism + stories from local people + a revenue model for local advertisers

and take away the downside, which is

the overheads of a local newspaper, radio or TV channel production, distribution and tech

the difference is driven by

A core digital TV channel with a single schedule with a mix of entertainment, documentaries and information that is broadcast to multiple local areas where:

– local news journalists and stories from local people are sent to a central team where the news from each local area is included every hour as part of the schedule – local people then get only their area’s news as part of the main schedule

– ads and sponsorship from local businesses, specific to each area are shown between programmes in the schedule

– viewers will be able to see the TV broadcast on any internet connected device, on the web, apps or on their smart TV

How would hyperlocal tv work?

Journalists in each locality would work from home and produce a 2-minute local news piece several times a day, this can be supported with traffic and weather updates for another minute totalling 3 minutes. They would either send the copy or copy and supporting video to a central team.

Local people can also upload stories and supporting video to the central team.

The central team will schedule the local news and stories / videos for each specific location into the core schedule so that all viewers see the same programmes but viewers in each location will see only their own local news.

Local ad sales teams would continue to sell local ads and sponsorship and local advertisers could book ads with the central team.

The central team would fill ad breaks in the core schedule that are a mix of national ads and local ads. But as it is a digital channel, the ad server would detect which ads would be most effectively shown to individual viewers, so each individual watching the same programme would be served the most appropriate, different national or local ad – and these will almost always pay a higher revenue than the same ad shown to everybody.

The solution enables journalists to do their job and be paid for their stories and reduces traditional newspaper overheads dramatically, it also allows local people to tell their own stories, easily. Mainly though, it provides viewers with news and programming they will want to watch, that will attract both national and local advertising revenue to sustain the model.

This model would work for a newspaper or radio station looking for extra revenues and a TV group, station or channel looking to develop a digital solution while making the best of what they already have and distributing it.

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hyperlocal – adjective

relating to or focusing on matters concerning a small community or geographical area.”an app which provides hyperlocal weather forecasts”

wikipedia 2020

Hyperlocal more recently has been related to the troubled markets of local media which include local newspapers, local television broadcasters and local radio stations.

There is a need for Hyper-local news – worldwide