Local journalism online

Dr. C’s 300 class is running a hyperlocal blog this semester.

Such concerns are becoming a more prominent, and successful, part of the journalism landscape. Here’s RiverheadLocal, started by a husband and wife journalist team to cover their Long Island, New York community.

About RiverheadLocal, Poynter says:

“On Dec. 29, we got into a big argument about it,” Blasl recalled. “The next morning, I got up and she had the whole site all designed and ready to go.”

Blasl, it turned out, had been spot-on about what Riverhead, population 33,500, was waiting for. The site attracted an average of nearly 20,000 unique visitors a month from January through August of this year, almost five times more than the same period in 2010. August was especially big, with just over 200,000 page views, almost 92,000 visits and nearly 38,500 unique visitors. Civiletti noted that the site had had a two-day exclusive on a Verizon picket-line fight, with a photo.

RiverheadLocal began running ads in March 2010. “We had to fight people off” while they got the site up and running, Civiletti said. “It kind of sells itself.”

After a year, site revenues began covering the couple’s monthly expenses.


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