Close on the heels of its Associated Content acquisition, "Yahoo has begun recruiting writers to begin building a local news site for the San Francisco area."
A recent email to registered Associated Content writers announced Yahoo's search for "writers living in or near the San Francisco area (like you!) to write compelling, local content -- ranging from highlights of your favorite neighborhood destinations to metro-wide, first-person reporting assignments covering the stories and topics not typically found in mainstream news media." This email confirmed speculations which had started earlier in the year when Yahoo advertised openings for local editors in San Francisco.
Local news reporting is becoming more popular by the day, with bigger brands getting more involved in hyperlocal trends. Starbucks for example, is working with some newspapers to provide community news on its internet access page, while Patch has declared its intention to have a website in every US community. It is still debatable whether taking hyperlocal out of its traditional context and and into the 'national brand' game will be feasible. For instance, less than a month after launching its 500th site, Patch's new website design has been criticized.
According to Alan Mutter on Newsosaur, "though hundreds of news shops of every shape and size already cover Northern California, Yahoo will be an instantly formidable competitor because of its vast market reach." Joseph Tartakoff of paidContent.org disagrees with this view though, writing that "Yahoo's efforts pale in comparison to that of rival AOL," with regards to the Patch network.
The hyperlocal expansions however, seem to be creating more job opportunities for journalists. Patch has already indicated over 500 local news editors will be hired before the end of the year, and now Yahoo is also seeking writers. Like Ryan Derousseau commented on media jobs daily, "interesting move for Yahoo to go hyperlocal in one of the most covered cities on the Web, but sounds like another paying option for those San Francisco writers out there."