What “premium news content” will you pay for?

Steve Outing asks a great question about the emergence of various “freemium” content models for news outlets:
“[W}hat is this premium content that newspaper companies can produce for the web (and mobile devices) that will get online users spending?” # Link in context

Content that serves the needs of diverse communities might be the key to building successful “freemium” models. # Link in context

Read the post, comments and Outing’s follow-up post for some interesting ideas. I think there are some niche possibilities for creating products tailored to the needs our increasingly diverse communities.  My state, New Jersey, is both racially diverse and home to immigrants from more than 100 nations according to a 2009 study described in this article from the Newark Star-Ledger. I’m a middle-class, suburban-dwelling, physically-challenged, working African American mother who has lived and worked in the state for most of the last 35 years. Based on that experience and those of others I’ve met along the way, here are some of the kinds of information that people I know look for: # Link in context

  • For people considering moving into a new community:
    • How diverse is the community, both economically and culturally?
      • Are there multicultural hair salons?
      • What’s the range of religious institutions represented there?
      • What kinds of multicultural civic institutions are represented?
    • The school report card doesn’t tell me Help me understand how the school system will affect my children.
      • Is there an achievement gap in the schools? If so, what measures are being taken to address it?
      • Are there support groups for children of color, such as the invaluable African American Parents Support Group in the West-Windsor Plainsboro district?
      • How do the schools handle the needs of diverse learners? Show me their commitment to culturally responsive teaching.
      • What enrichment programs are available and what do they cost? (In the affluent West-Windsor Plainsboro district, I had to pay for my daughter’s clarinet in order for her to participate in her elementary school’s music program. In the middle-class Ewing school system where she finished high school, instruments were free.  It’s not the only factor in deciding where to live, but when you have a child who is serious about participating in the arts or other enrichment activities, knowing the costs matters.
  • For people with disabilities:
    • I’d pay for quality, consistently-updated information about transportation affordability and accessibility.
    • How about an Augmented Reality app that would allow me to hold my phone up to a building and trigger a map of accessible building entrances?
  • For small business owners and non-profit administrators:
    • What are the local implications of federal and state incentives for building green businesses?
    • How about a comprehensive guide to technical assistance workshops, webinars and other services that will help business owners and non-profit managers understand what they need to do to qualify for relevant grant and loan programs?

That’s just a couple of thoughts off the top of my head. What are your thoughts? # Link in context

CC BY-ND 4.0 What “premium news content” will you pay for? by Kim Pearson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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professorkim

My professional background is in public information, magazine journalism, blogging and journalism education. My current research is founded on the premise that democracy requires the broad participation of a computationally fluent citizenry. Civic media industries must reflect the communities they serve at the level of ownership, research and development, news gathering, presentation and community engagement. This adds greater urgency to the already critical need to broaden participation in computing. To that end, I have collaborated on curricular models for infusing computing into journalism education at both the scholastic and collegiate levels, and for promoting civic engagement in computer science education. My current interest is in exploring the potential of stochastic networks and as enhancement to social computing tools for broadening civic participation.
While most of this blog is devoted to my research in computational journalism and trends in journalism education, I occasionally do some storytelling of my own. This blog picks up where my other blogs, Professor Kim’s News Notes (http://professorkim.blogspot.com) and The Nancybelle Project (http://kimpearson.net/nancybelle.html) left off.