Syndicate Exec Says Newspapers Can Overdo Local Approach

By: E&P Staff

Are some newspapers overemphasizing “local, local, local”? Washington Post Writers Group Editorial Director Alan Shearer thinks so.

In a commentary today on WPWG’s blog, the syndicate executive says: “Seemingly forever, we’ve heard that ‘local’ is the ‘franchise,’ that readers can easily get what they want on other topics elsewhere. The mantra is so prevalent, it’s almost as if every editor attended the same seminar.”

But Shearer adds: “People want ALL the news of the day that’s important to them. Americans want to know about their property taxes but they are concerned about their country, too. And whether the local National Guard unit may be activated.

“If you do not provide this information, readers will go elsewhere. Yes, I know that’s the point — they’re going elsewhere. But wait a minute. Why let them? Why not fight to keep them? It’s simple and relatively inexpensive to build a Web site that provides all the important news and commentary of the day, plus the news about local taxes, heroic lifeguards, and burglaries….”

Shearer’s complete post can be seen here.

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