Instant News Network: Timely, hyperlocal, online news reporting

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The greater Houston area has a new player in online news reporting: Instant News Network.

Here is the organization’s press release:

InstantNewsNetwork.com announced today it has bought FortBendNow.com and plans to launch constantly updated neighborhood news sites across Houston and Dallas.

“We deliver neighborhood news to your computer when it happens, not your front lawn a week later,” said George Boehme, managing director of InstantNewsNetwork.com.

The lack of timeliness in neighborhood news is what drove InstantNewsNetwork.com Editorial Director Bob Dunn to create FortBendNow.com in September 2005. Today, the website averages more than 10,000 daily visits, more than 320,000 monthly visits, and more than 1.6 million monthly page views.

InstantNewsNetwork.com will expand FortBendNow.com, immediately adding two additional mobile journalists to the staff and providing a redesign that will bring additional features to the site, including marketplace and business directories.

In addition to Dunn and Boehme, InstantNewsNetwork.com’s partners include Clayton Harris, most recently director of business operations for Houston Community Newspapers, as well as Lane Smith, former manager of online development for Houston Community Newspapers.

Boehme is the founder and former publisher of Examiner Newspaper Group. Houston Community Newspapers bought Examiner Newspaper Group in April, 2006.

Planned for the first quarter 2008 are three more neighborhood news sites, in West University, Bellaire and Cinco Ranch. Within 18 months, InstantNewsNetwork.com expects to be managing more than 20 neighborhood news web sites in key Houston and Dallas markets.

Boehme tells us that the organization’s focus “will be very very local and timely hard news.” He further reveals that FortBendNow.com’s mobile journalists will each be posting 4-7 times per day, with some video, for 12-21 timely, hyperlocal news stories daily.

If Instant News Network can pull it off, then they will OWN that local news market. And they will truly be showing the big boys how news should be done in the internet age.

Of course, most newsies have envisioned the future of news reporting as looking something like this. But will it be able to make money, and thereby support the folks gathering the news (and the owners and the overhead)? When asked how the enterprise will make money, Boehme offered a one-liner: “Advertising.”

We hope he’s right, as we’re fans of hyperlocal news reporting and efforts at developing the (online) newspaper of the future.

BLOGVERSATION: Brazosport News.


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Kevin Whited
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