Authentically Local Campaign Reclaims the Word “Local”
A group of 45 independently-owned hyperlocal news sites have joined forces to launch an “Authentically Local” branding campaign to emphasize the importance of supporting homegrown media, stores and places.
“Local” has recently emerged as one of the most potential lucrative corners of the economy, and corporations are rushing to it like speculators to a gold rush. Economists estimate the local advertising market is about $100 billion a year, and numerous organizations are making a play, including Groupon, Living Social, Google, Facebook, Apple and AOL.
“The Authentically Local campaign seeks to illuminate the difference between authentic local businesses and those that are just cashing in — before every town in America becomes one giant strip mall,” said Debbie Galant, founder of Baristanet, who plans to announce the campaign at the GeoWorld Summit in New York City. “This is not just about us, the owned-and-operated sites that write about place. It’s about place.”
“Local journalism doesn’t scale and it doesn’t need to scale. It needs to emerge from people deeply engaged in their local community, determined to make a difference and provide a vital service,” said Lance Knobel, a co-founder of Berkeleyside.com.
The branding campaign will be extended to bricks-and-mortar business, and will include a mission statement, buttons, and multi-author blog at AuthenticallyLocal.com.
“We’re in this with our advertisers,” said Timothy Rutt, the editor and publisher of Altadenablog in Southern California. “Because we’re local, we spend our advertisers’ dollars in the community. We don’t ship it out of town to a big corporation.”
A list of founding sites, which collectively reach about 800,000 readers a month, can be found on the website.