Could the digitization of media actually hold the solution for local news coverage? At LifeLens, we think it’s possible.

A Costly Legacy Model

We believe traditional local news operations aren’t sufficiently scalable to efficiently deliver the quality and depth of news viewers and readers once enjoyed. Constrained by the rigid cost structures and shrinking revenues of a model that can no longer sustain itself, news outlets have been downsizing and in many cases, shutting down completely. This has been going on for years and will come as no surprise to anyone concerned about the production or consumption of local news.

The impact? Not only is the public denied an important connection with events in the community, a sizable pool of talented journalists are no longer working in their chosen profession.

The Burden of Complexity

If we could single out one key characteristic of the traditional local news operation it would be high complexity. This is a burden in both the news gathering and distribution processes. With complexity comes higher cost and in many cases, the risk of a bureaucratic culture that can end up suppressing curiosity and creativity – two essential ingredients in good storytelling.

Thankfully, today’s digital platforms dramatically reduce and often eliminate these problems. At LifeLens, we can’t help but believe the newfound autonomy resulting from solving these problems will empower many journalists. We’re eager to see them succeed and believe our unique suite of services are important enablers in their path to success.

The Power of a Journalist’s Brand

Every journalist can (and should) develop their personal brand identity.

For that brand to retain or increase it’s value, it has to stand on its own. Specifically, the brand is best served by having it’s own distinct online presence. If YouTube or Facebook were the sole destinations for consumers to connect with that brand and its content, a degree of brand dilution is going to occur resulting in the diminished value of the brand. Some journalists may also have concerns about their credibility should a global web company be the point of entry for viewers and readers to connect with their brand.

The Efficiency of LifeLens Content Distribution

That leaves distribution as a major consideration, and that’s where brand-friendly, white labelled services from LifeLens come in. LifeLens offers both live and pre-recorded streaming services. We scale very well meaning operational costs for distribution are very reasonable.

What about the revenue side? Through the LifeLens Monetization platform, the journalist can build a subscription based revenue model. There are other attractive options such as the pledge model through Patreon. Finally, one could also pursue a traditional advertising supported model.

NPR’s On Point Discusses The Dearth of Local News

We invite you to listen to NPR’s On Point segment with host Tom Ashbrook and his guest Margaret Sullivan from the Washington Post.

As you listen to the discussion around the sad state of local news, can you envision an opportunity to use your talent and skills in a new and innovative way? If the answer is “yes”, we’d love LifeLens to be part of the next chapter in your career. Few things would please us more than knowing LifeLens is delivering your excellent work and in the process, reconnecting communities.