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Digital News dominated by economic crisis

By Adriana Stuijt     Mar 5, 2009 in Internet
The economic malaise is the main topic of conversation at the "Digital News Affairs 2009" two-day conference in Brussels. It had less visitors than in previous years, and talk was about nothing but money, or rather the lack of it.
The Dutch weekly trade journal De Journalist writes that money was the only tune played from the very first panel discussion in Brussels this week. "How can media companies stay afloat in this heavy economic storm? " was the question mainly asked.
Some panel discussions also came up with some innovative new suggestions for marketing digital news better, too.
Lots of small breweries are good advertising revenue:
One such innovative approach was proffered by Katharina Borchert of the WAZ media group in Germany - its second largest.
Hyper-local news
She said going 'hyper-local' in daily online news content draws a brand-new group of advertisers which main-stream newspapers never are able to approach.
"People are extremely interested in news which happens in their street, their suburb, right around the corner. We Germans have a lot of small breweries in hundreds of towns. We send journalists to cover all the matches of the local sports clubs which are sponsored by such breweries."We offer them a total package: a video and news-report of the match, accompanied by a video advertisement of the local sponsor-brewery.'
"That's a lot better than just the bare match results and we give small advertisers a new way to get their products advertised amongst their main target group online and in print.'
Citizen journalism in Europe
The multi-lingual citizen journalism website Demotix has 2,500 citizen journalists/photographers worldwide - divided on regional pages -- who place their amateur-reports, videos and photographs on the site for sale, exactly as do news agencies but at much cheaper prices.The profits from their sales are split among the contributing journalists.
"One of our first sales were pictures from a correspondent in North Korea. These were placed by an article which the purchaser, a newspaper, had written itself, says founder Turi Munthe.
"Our articles aren't quite as good as yet as those of professional writers,' he admits. "However because our pictures are being bought, we get in through the backdoor.' see
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