The Rat’s Getting Fatter, But The Tail’s Getting Longer

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Matthew Hindman contends that the web is actually consolidating news around just a few sources. Even though it’s easy for anyone to publish, users’ tendencies to click on one of the first few links returned by Google means that it’s becoming more and more difficult to attract readers. The numbers back up what he was saying.

Not only that, but people are paying more and more attention to national and international sources than local sources.

While much of their national and international content may be syndicated, papers like these provide regional and local coverage that the New York Times and Washington Post cannot. When Web users rely on hyperlinks, or they return time and again to a few widely-read sources, they receive little exposure to local news. To that extent, they disengage from the world around them and take in only the high-profile stories that national media see fit to produce.

There’s a little bit of an, “oh well, we’ve been defeated” tone to this article. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I think there’s plenty of opportunity to be heard. At least your chances are better than they were when the only way you could have a voice was to own a printing press.

When all we had was print, radio and television, there was not long tail.

Jack Lail as more.

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