Saving Local News By Keeping It Free
DURANGO, Colo., July 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past 20 years, local newspapers have been disappearing at such a rate that today there are at least 1,800 news “deserts” with no local news at all.
In the midst of this unprecedented news crisis, many local news outlets are turning to a solution of the last resort — paywalls — charging for their content.
And why not? Getting people to pay for local news would seem to be a way out of the financial box local news companies find themselves trapped in.
There’s just one problem with this solution. It won’t work. Once local news is tied up behind paywalls, where only those willing to pay for their news have access, these communities will turn into gated communities.
And the people who most desperately need access to their community news — those living in rural America — will be the ones left outside the gates.
Luckily there is a solution to this problem and it’s called the Local News Network (LNN). LNN provides a platform that ensures that people in small and mid-sized towns have free access to local news.
LNN does this by financially supporting its short-form local video news platform with local advertising dollars, like it used to be done at print newspapers. This business model connects local businesses and non-profits with their customers unlike the national brand chains that are diverting sales away from small town America with powerful marketing campaigns.
“Forget paywalls,” says Laurie Sigillito, CEO of Local News Network. “When local news is available to everyone, you build a strong and diverse audience. Local and regional businesses can then easily reach their customers on a daily basis.”
One recent example of how this works was an ad that ran on LNN’s Durango, Colorado platform for a local Montessori school about an upcoming fundraiser event.
“In previous years we raised about $4,500 from our Earth Day fundraiser,” says Nathan Morris, a parent at the school. “This year we advertised on Durango Local News and we raised $11,000!”
“The math is simple,” explains Sigillito. “Local people supporting local business supporting local news is a winner all the way around. One plus one plus one is free.”
Local News Network produces and distributes local video news stories in underserved news communities throughout the U.S. and paves the way for local businesses to connect with local customers.
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SOURCE Local News Network