Building Localized Media Networks that syndicate great content

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Today, Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff explains why Twitter should be more like cable TV where consumers can find the channels they love.

Checking out content or different topics (on Twitter), like entertainment, politics, science, celebrities, gossip and technology, should be as easy as changing channels on your TV.

The Breaking News Network, spanning over 400 cities, wants to be your local Twitter channel by ticker taping news about your city from quality sources you’ve probably never heard of. We’re launching a new Local Media Network program, with the mission to create localized Twitter based media channels that syndicate the messages of good journalists, writers and bloggers from various disciplines down to the local city level.

Simply put, we want to make “local” news more varied and compelling. Local news isn’t just reported by the local press. For example: 1) investigative reporting appears on member news services of the Investigative News Network, The Media Consortium and Public News Service,  2) insightful, non-homerish sportswriting about local college teams is reported daily on SI and SBNation, and 3) on the narrowcasting front, important local crowdsourcing and crowdfunding initiatives are chronicled at Crowdfund Insider. Their common thread is most of this “national” content doesn’t reach local readers where it has the most immediate impact simply because locals don’t know these news resources exist. Our solution is to position our 400 city feeds as channels syndicating important news related to, say, Cincinnati, Ohio to Cincinnati readers.

 

Methodology

We build our local channels by amplifying the tweets of authorized Twitter feeds . For the past two years, mayors and city councils, performing arts organizations, nonprofit news networks, local newscasters, indie filmmakers, and good causes have all used our Media Amplification Program to get their word out to their community. Once authorized, they simply add specific hashtags like their city name (#Chicago) to the tweet, and our city feed retweets it to our readers.

To start building our Sports Media Network, we’re authorizing great sportswriters and news sources for the upcoming NCAA Basketball tournament #MarchMadness. For example, Bay Sports Report covers the San Francisco Bay Area and its college teams – Berkeley, Stanford, St Mary’s etc. Whenever their feed @reportbaysports tweets with college hashtag #Cal or #Stanford, our Berkeley and Palo Alto feeds, respectively, RT the tweet to their local readers:

Sports Media Network

 

We’ve authorized national sportswriters for 100 Division 1 colleges around the country so their messages are consumed at the city level. Our goal is to make good sportswriters household names across the country.

Likewise, we’ve already authorized over 200 independent and local news services who are members of the Investigative News Network, The Media Consortium and Alt Weeklies.

The table shows four examples of localized media networks designed to bring useful topical content to local consumers:

Local media network table

 

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