MediaShift has a great guide to the various hyper-local news efforts online — from the independent startups to placeblogs to mainstream media efforts.
Mark Glaser breaks down the various methods that people are collecting hyper-local news, including annotated Google Maps and the mobile journalism efforts at Gannett and Reuters. While the Internet and even email lists have helped smaller communities connect and share news online, the business model for these efforts is still unknown, with most people running hyper-local news sites as labors of love.
“Two newer hyper-local startups, YourStreet and EveryBlock, are aiming to use more aggregation and annotated maps to show what’s happening in a locale, without having high-cost editorial from reporters. But there remains a tough balancing act between using amateur or automated information and on-the-ground reporting by professional journalists.”