All Seats Taken? Hyperlocal Online Media in Strong Print Newspaper Surroundings

Lars Julius Halvorsen, Paul Bjerke
2019 Nordicom Review  
This article present data from a new mapping of Norwegian online hyperlocals, defined as local online news sites that are indigenous to the web. From an understanding of local news markets as organised social fields with great barriers to entry, we discuss the hyperlocals' locations and business models against the system of existing print-based local newspapers and analyse four cases of successful start-ups. We have identified 67 Norwegian hyperlocals. While most new start-ups tend to avoid
more » ... s tend to avoid direct competition with legacy print media, hyperlocals operate in all kinds of municipalities. While most of them follow a low-cost strategy based upon a large degree of "self-exploitation" by the editors, a total of 19 hyperlocals create sufficient income to run professional news operations. These operations are typically being started while legacy media has been going through economic crises. Even then, there are substantial barriers to market entry. Highly dedicated and earth-bound entrepreneurs seem to be a prerequisite for success.
doi:10.2478/nor-2019-0030 fatcat:nqkp5zlgmbh6bjzkfpbtuftq2i