Innovation That Matters

Hyperlocal newspaper turns blogs into print

Publishing & Media

Dire reports from the world of newspapers and magazines may suggest the printed medium is on its way out, but a new Chicago start-up doesn’t think so. Rather, it’s beta-testing a plan to publish a raft of free print publications in local communities across the US. With a heavy emphasis on the local, The Printed Blog is an independent outlet that aggregates user-generated content from the internet and publishes it in print. The result is a fully tactile newspaper that reads and functions like a web feed, but that can still be spread across the breakfast table or enjoyed on the train. Bucking the “one-size-fits-all” trend followed by many newspapers, The Printed Blog aims to choose the content of its many local editions to reflect the votes of local readers, who will ultimately be able to express their preferences on its site. Content will include not just blogs but also photographs, puzzles, events, reader comments and other items of local interest. The paper is currently still testing its model, but its first issues are scheduled to hit the streets of Chicago and San Francisco today. It will ultimately be distributed to neighbourhood pickup points in A.M. and P.M. editions. The Printed Blog has already received permission from about 300 bloggers—including the Daily Kos—to publish their work in exchange for a share of ad revenue, according to a report in The New York Times. Some 15 advertisers signed on for the first issue, the NYT reported. The startup reportedly plans to put commercial printers in the homes of its distributors as a way to keep printing costs low. Will The Printed Blog succeed in reinventing the local newspaper? Time will tell. Meanwhile, one to watch! (Related: Free daily pays bloggers.) Spotted by: Martina Meng



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