Regional Today, Local Tomorrow

Take a minute to think about how many newspapers are delivered to your house. My family gets three delivered to our house; the local one, the more local one, and the really local one. Since technology has transformed the way we receive news and information, the term “local” has obtained a new meaning.

Ten years ago, we considered local to be our neighborhood and the county we live in, usually nothing major happened in terms of local news. Today, local is thought to be the region of the state we live in, even more than one county which tends to get more news stories that just down the street from home. Ken Doctor expands on this topic in chapter three “Local: Remap and Reload” in his book Newsonomics. “That’s remapping in the basic way that local is being redefined. That’s reloading in the sense of understanding that while one battle has plainly been lost-that of keeping the local press intact as we knew it-another is ahead” (Doctor, 50). Local news organizations are suffering not only because “the Web lets us define ‘local’ any way we want” but also “the Internet has forced local media companies to redefine themselves” (Doctor 50-51). But this concern is not just affecting newspaper companies, it is also affecting radio stations. In 2005, it was proven that “more than 40% of radio stations do news for one or more stations outside their own market” (Hood).


While this battle for local, smaller papers to stay in business is on-going, “a few sites do stand out and are leaders at re-creating the next “local” – sites such as,, and more (Doctor, 55). Some smaller papers just cannot make enough money to print a paper daily and publish their stories online. Instead of completely shutting down, they have either cut back their printing to a few times a week, or just gone entirely online. They have also followed in bigger companies’ footsteps by advertising more and even taking their articles to Twitter just to get more noticed. “Twitter’s popularity has exploded in recent months, with news organizations and enterprises looking to the service as a source of unfiltered information about products, services, and global events” (Twitter is redefining communications).

Within a matter of years local journalism is going to be redefined even more, and the internet is going to continue to expand and take profit away from smaller newspaper companies. What we call “staying local” today, others would have called “regional” years before. Tomorrow, the term “local” could just be defined by opening your laptop and checking in across the world.


Hood, L. (2005). Redefining “Local” in Radio News: The Impact of Consolidation on Coverage. Conference Papers — International Communication Association, 1-26.

Doctor, Ken. (2010). Newsenomics: Twelve New Trends that Will Shape the News You Get.

Twitter is redefining communications. (2009). MarketWatch: Global Round-up, 8(8), 213-214.

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2 Responses to Regional Today, Local Tomorrow

  1. Jessica Michael says:

    It is sad that local newspapers are not able to stay in business since the major newspapers are taking over. Major newspapers are attempting to reach the local market but smaller newspapers have the advantage. They know more about the community and can report on subjects that the citizens care about. However, local newspapers have a disadvantage when it comes to the Internet. Most local newspapers have not made the move to the Internet where people are getting most of their information. Like you said, Twitter is a huge tool that local newspapers could use. All they have to do is set up an account and tweet about the stories they are covering. Since the use for daily publications is slowly dying, local newspapers need to relocate to the Internet. It is important for the smaller newspapers to stay in business so the major ones do not completely take over. If that did happen, there would be no local news at all.

  2. Rachel says:

    There is no profit in the local newspaper anymore because people would much rather go online in order to obtain information instead of waiting around for the next edition to come out. With all the advances in technology there’s no need for people to have a weekly subscription. News can now be read instantly online through many different websites with just the simple click of a button That’s why the local newspaper businesses are slowly dying and having to cut back on their printing along with their employees. It’s important that smaller newspaper companies take drastic steps so they can still get noticed meaning they should start posting their articles on the internet and advertising more like the bigger newspaper companies. As long as they do this then they may still have a chance of surviving in this fast changing world. If they can’t keep up, then they might as well write their own obituary because the internet is going to win the battle at this rate.

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