Getting laid off from the corporate-owned MetroWest daily news didn’t stop Jennifer Lord Paluzzi. If anything, it put her in the perfect place. Her realization: When you can’t get employed, employ yourself.
Rather than retreat to her couch with a bag of Frito-Lays, Paluzzi channeled her broad knowledge of journalism into her own endeavor: CentralMassMedia.com, for which she is now editorial director. What started with one hyperlocal website, has expanded to nine plus a sports blog, covering the talk of the towns in Central Massachusetts. And she’s not stopping anytime soon. Throwing her skills in photo, video, layout, and oh yeah, writing! on the web, she’s crafted a site that’s really quite innovative, but maintains a certain folksy, small-town feel.
The idea: write to one [or multiple] local communities about the stuff they really care about from their neck of the woods. And do it online where everyone has acccess.
On True/Slant, Bart Brouwers blogs that hyperlocal news is a “brilliant idea.”
Brouwers posted this Wake up Worcester interview with Central Mass News’s publisher Jack Schofield.
In the past couple of weeks I found out that there is a little bit more to it. Especially if you’re doing this within a large legacy media company and want to convince all the inside forces that are already working with local news (mostly print oriented) to cooperate in your new model. That’s something Schofield doesn’t have to worry about. Moreover, his authenticity is probably one of the unique selling points. Living in the community you are writing about, gives you a headstart if you want to go hyperlocal.
They’re not quite a year old yet, but already they’ve expanded into three additional towns with Northbridge Times, The Daily Millbury, and The Daily Shrewsbury. And they’re working on setting up in three more towns in the coming months.I’d venture to guess that Jack Schofield definitely “gets it”… The future of online local news reporting is now here in Worcester County. And it’s the fastest growing business I know of.
I’d say if it’s growing that’s a pretty good sign– not much else is these days. Look’s like the answer we’re so hungry for just might be locally grown.