University of Memphis graduate student Pam Avery will discuss her MA project, “The Community News Website: How to Make Hyperlocal Work in Harris County, Georgia” on Wednesday, November 13 at 3:30PM Central in room 300 in the Meeman Journalism Building; you can also attend her presentation online here. If you sign in online (anybody should be able to do so as a guest), please be sure to mute your mic once you have connected it so we don’t get feedback noise – there is a mic icon in the top bar. There is also a chat box in the bottom right for questions.
Pam began her project with a central insight: Communities still need news and information, and they are often underserved in this area of legacy media cutbacks. As she writes:
“Since people have inhabited the earth, communication has been vital to the structure of and maintenance of communities. Whether via drum beats in a rain forest or tweets, blogs, and text messages, it is the glue that holds a people together.”
She utilized what she learned in our graduate entrepreneurial journalism course and her experience working in media and as a business owner to investigate the potential for a hyperlocal site in her home country in Georgia, building on lessons learned from other hyperlocal websites around the country. Pam surveyed locals, interviewed small businesses owners who might be potential advertisers, and did focus groups to learn more about what people need and want from a hyperlocal news site. She’ll discuss what she learned and what a viable and vibrant site might look like in her town in the presentation.