How local does local have to be? That’s something the Washington Post is probably asking itself as it tries to breathe new life into its experimental local online service (we wrote about it here last year. According to this report in the Wall Street Journal today, it hasn’t been faring so well.)
The Post’s idea was a site that could get under the skin of Loudon County (population: 300,000), which lies to the west of Washington. Tapping into local advertising as it moves online could be an important business for newspapers. But it seems that Loudon is too big and disparate a place – it has five disconnected population centres and no single local identity. The Post tried to use high-end production and journalistic values to bring life to local news.