Thinking about starting an online local newspaper? You may want to check out this essay by Bill Kauffman about The Batavian. Excerpt:
Five years of 12-hour-a-day and seven-day-a-week workloads later, Owens has embedded The Batavian in the public mind. From his office on the second floor of the Masonic Temple on Main Street, Howard covers local government and politics, arts, culture, sports, business, crime, the natural world: all that is beautiful or ugly within his beat of Genesee County.
Billie Owens, like her spouse a former Southern California reporter, is The Batavian’s editor, resident grammarian, and writer of such deadpan police-scanner entries as “Pantless man making snow angels on South Main Street” and “Boyfriend allegedly takes pregnant girlfriend’s pack of smokes.” . . .
“People like knowing why the fire trucks just went down Main Street or why all of the police cars are gathered at the end of their block,” says Howard. “The Web makes it possible to report real-time news that simply didn’t exist in paper or broadcast eras.”
So when the siren screams… or a yegg gets pinched… or a lamb is born during a blizzard or the conversation turns to malversation… The Batavian has the story.
Will every small city or county someday have a Batavian of its own? “Hard to say,” replies Howard. “Most people don’t want to assume the risk and work that hard for something with no definitive payoff. I believe the opportunity is there. Most small and mid-size cities are underserved for news by their existing local news organizations. Opportunity abounds for those willing to take the plunge.”
Either because I’m boring or Kauffman is so entertaining, I have put Batavia on my If-I’m-ever-in-that-area-and-it’s-not-too-big-of-a-hassle-places-to-visit list.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList