US daily newspaper is replaced by social media website

Ann Arbor in Michigan is the first sizable town in the US to lose its only daily newspaper, Time reports.

The end of Ann Arbor News follows the demise of such venerable US titles as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News.

Its owners have decided to replace the daily print title with a new website – www.AnnArbor.com – and a twice weekly print title, also called AnnArbor.com which will be published on Thursdays and Sundays.

It’s gone from a staff of 316 to 60, of which 35 are journalists (called content-creators).

The new site looks and reads more like a social media site and there is little difference in the prominence of stories written by staff journalists and those contributed by members of the community. According to Time, it also has around 80 bloggers – most of whom are unpaid.

Its an interesting and pretty radical experiment in the future of local news – and it looks well worth keeping an eye on.

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