The Med City Beat has only been in operation for about six months, but has quickly established itself a trustworthy — and occasionally offbeat — source for news in Rochester.
With just a laptop and several hundred cups of coffee, I have been able to build a hyperlocal news website that reaches more than 10,000 unique visitors each week.
The best part is that I'm creating this traffic by consistently sharing quality information and resources with the community — not by clickbaiting or offering cheap gimmicks.
Impressed? Don't be. The coverage, both in volume and quality, has increased significantly since the website launched in November, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Here are three areas that I would like to focus on:
- DMC video series: The Rochester Story Project videos are great marketing tools but they don't help tell the story of a changing Rochester. I want to talk with the people on the ground — police officers, nurses and small business owners — about their hopes and fears as the initiative moves into the implementation phase.
- In-depth interviews: Sometimes you need more than just a soundbite to understand an issue, so I will work with local production companies to produce more extended interviews with community leaders and advocates.
- Community forum: Rochester needs an online platform for smart, productive dialogue on key local issues. This will be a place to debate ideas, share events and report suspicious activity.
None of the projects can be done alone. Each will require participation from Rochester's talented pool of writers, photographers, editors and graphic artists.
Completing these projects will also require the long-term viability of the Med City Beat — that's why half the money raised in the campaign will go toward operating expenses.
A fully-funded campaign will guarantee:
- Continued operation (through December 2015)
- Four-part DMC documentary series (first installment in August)
- 12 extended interviews (two per month)
I will also develop a community forum, hire volunteer writers and work toward long-term financial sustainability. My goal is to double the amount of original content on the website by the end of summer.
- This is an all-or-nothing campaign, meaning the aforementioned projects and incentives are dependent on raising the full $10K. No one will be charged for a pledge unless the goal is reached.
- Third-party contractors will be chosen through a fair and transparent process. Only bids from local production companies and artists will be considered.
- Readers will have the opportunity for input when it comes to choosing guests (and questions) for extended interviews.
- If the funding goal is reached, a launch party will be held on July 10 for contributors of $75 or more. The evening will include live music, free appetizers and craft drinks. More information is available here.
- On a less serious note: The Med City Beat pledges to leave future green screen editing (see the above video) to the pros. Trying to do everything yourself only gets you so far in life.
So if you appreciate what I'm doing with the Med City Beat — and you want even more original content — consider supporting this project today!
Risks and challenges
Social media is constantly altering the way people consume news. Major shifts in the industry used to happened every couple decades but are now happening every couple months. It's important that the Med City Beat continues to keep up with emerging trends when it comes to telling stories, distributing content and promoting advertisers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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