The best piece I’ve seen on the dismal state of hyper-local, via my friend and Community Impact Newspapers honcho John Garrett. A sample:
Such are the unholy collisions between “local news” and computerized news gathering. The problem for the new localists is that local news doesn’t obviously “scale,” a term of art that folks who put together business plans throw around to refer to businesses that get a lot cheaper to run as they grow. To cover more ground you generally need more bodies, a real buzzkill in a news industry that is desperately trying to stay afloat by doing … well, less with less. So what we see in the local news efforts is something like the creepy apocalypse of a 1950s science fiction story, in which, with the people gone, computers take over the few tasks that remain to be done in the barren landscape, hoping by algorithms to take the bits of local information that are out there and put them together into sites that can be built on the cheap.
Also, my new instant favorite compound adjective: “sub-trivial.”