Here's a few items on the list:
- “It’s cool how that information I want is only three clicks deep.”
- “Did you see how they promote the network? That’s awesome.”
- “I hope they brought marketing in to the meetings about this site.”
- “Please: smaller fonts.”
And they're used to making money. But as more and more media consumers turn online for their news, they're facing tough competition for eyeballs. Whereas most towns only have one or two newspapers, there are thousands of news sources online. TV newsrooms are a bit more used to competition, but that's largely what's led to sensational journalism meant to scare viewers into watching.
So there's at least four goals of local news websites.
- Draw the audience in.
- Engage audience members with the site so they'll keep coming back.
- Convince audience members (or trick them) into clicking on ads.
- Keep the audience informed.
Maybe I'm over-generalizing though. How are the websites for your local papers, TV stations etc? Are they easy to navigate? Do they prioritize news and information over advertising?