Help us help hyperlocal news

For CUNY’s New Business Models for News Project, we would be very grateful if local blogs and sites filled out a survey to give us data in our analysis and modeling of the economics of hyperlocal news. The survey is here.

We are trying to find out how hyperlocal blogs and sites are doing their business today – how big they are, how big an area they cover, what’s working in advertising and what’s not. The data they give will be kept anonymous; that is, we’ll release it only in aggregate. We’ll also interview some of you to find out more.

Out of this, we are working to build models to show how to optimize the business of the hyperlocal news site: revenue opportunities, network opportunities, and so on. We’ll share that work on the site as it progresses.

As of today, we have a director, a business analyst, two business consultants, two journalism graduates, and six business students working on this effort. It’s serious. The more information we have to work with, the better they can serve the community. So if you have a local news blog or site, please fill out the survey and pass it along to others you know.


  • Will the results of the survey be published? I’d love to see them.

    • Yes, we’ll share data in aggregate; just won’t individually identify blogs. We’ll see what the data looks like and then decide how to present it most sensibly; much of it may be more anecdotal information that data.

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  • Daniel Faintuch

    It appears to me that a lot of blogs and sites will succeed with a model that comprises of local+niche.
    The location alone many times is not enough to generate enough revenue or traffic (unless the area is large, in which case you compete with larger corporations).
    By combining the location with the niche (let’s say, a blog for Golfers in Cleveland), you can expand the news coverage area while having more passionate readers.
    It also becomes easier to attract advertisers, since it’s a unique niche.

    On a side note, is there a way that I could volunteer some ideas to this project?

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  • When will this survery be published? It is free?

  • Have you spoken with folks at It covers the entire US, town-by-town, albeit not with journalistic intent.