PAULINE'S PICKS: 'Montgomery Advertiser' Blends Young Readers and Citizen Journalism

By: Pauline Millard Newspapers are having a harder time attracting younger readers. Studies have reported that young people are not likely to pick up a paper, so online would seem like the natural direction to go.

Even if a newspaper has a strong Web presence, the content has to be just right to keep the readers interested: keep it local and keep it relevant. And don't try too hard to be hip.

The Montgomery Advertiser is trying its hand at an interesting mix of youth-oriented content and citizen journalism. Their youth section call the Montgomery Underground focuses on local arts and entertainment, and even lets the readers add their own material.

There are video interviews with local and national artists as well as some podcasts. The blogs, though, were my favorite part of the site, since they are written by 20-somethings in the area. One guy is an up-and-coming rapper, another gal runs a music promotion company and still another is a teacher and an aspiring actress. The bloggers play fast and loose with spelling and grammar, but they document their lives well and add lots of photos and contant updates.

Even if viewers don't feel like reading, they can just sit back and listen to the MP3 player that launches hit songs when they log on.

Overall, it's a site that is foused on the Montgomery area and its young people. The fact that readers can add to the conversation is a selling point, especially with an audience that isn't likely to buy a subscription to the paper.

How is your newspaper's Web site trying to attract younger readers? I'd like to hear about it.

Here are some of my past Picks:

Minneapolis 'Star-Tribune' Creates Feature-Style Podcasts Launches Interactive Homicide Report

New York Papers Cover Fierce Storm and Tornado

Newspaper's Database Examines Safety of Hudson Valley Bridges .


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