Technical.ly CEO and co-founder Chris Wink wrote an opinion piece earlier this year that should be must reading for anyone with even a passing interest in the media landscape.
Wink has a much-needed perspective. After all, Technical.ly operates tech-focused sites in four uniquemarkets – Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C. and Delaware.
Wink is a staunch advocate for cities and in coming up with ways for the media and other entities to deal with difficult challenges.
He finds Delaware, despite its tiny size and a shrinking number of reporters and editors, to be the most balkanized of Technical.ly’s four media markets. He summed things up as follows:
“So as change comes elsewhere in the country — albeit, painfully and slowly — I’ve found much less is happening here in Delaware. Many communities around the country have active, collaborative news ecosystems. Local journalists who truly confront the daunting media landscape recognize their competition is actually not other news organizations, but an array of countervailing forces, readers who are uninitiated to our sector’s challenges and traditionalists who are holding back true business model adaptation.”
Wink also made a point worth pondering in telling the community to understand that the News Journal, despite its vastly diminished reporting resources, is a much-needed presence.
He even goes to far to suggest a local buyout of the newspaper and website that was once a money cow. Wink is quick to caution that a new owner would face the same forces that have sent advertising revenues tumbling.
We know that the lack of watchdog media outlets allow government and other institutions to operate in the shadows.
Wink also suggests that foundations should be involved with news start-ups, although correctly notes that business models cannot depend on their largesse for a number of reasons.
Wink advised readers to check out and support Technical.ly, Delaware Business Now, TownSquare Delaware Delaware Business Times and Delaware Public Media among others.
Chris is right. It is time to build a cooperative news ecosystem, rather than hang on our to decades-old ideas about imagined competition.
Whether anything will happen anytime soon remains open to question. Still, Wink’s thoughts deserve serious consideration.
A final note. Delaware Business Now belongs to a group known as Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION). Many of LION’s more than 100 members have built a strong digital news presence in communities large and small through a variety of approaches that include non-profit status, an advertising-based model, sponsorships or a combination of the above.
Those interested in building a link in the news ecosystem can contact LION or this writer for further information.
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