BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The website is just a few days old, but BocaNewsNow.com is quickly distinguishing itself as the go-to source for news and information in Boca Raton, Florida. Founded as an experiment by former network news correspondent Andrew Colton, the site is receiving thousands of hits from residents and Boca-enthusiasts seeking information about what’s happening in South Palm Beach County. The recent triple shooting near FAU, Florida Atlantic University, proved that strong journalistic background, relationships with law enforcement, and an understanding of how news should work in 2011 are all keys to building a successful hyper-local website.
“We are not looking to be the Palm Beach Post or the Sun Sentinel,” said founder Andrew Colton. “This started just a few days ago as an experiment to serve as a clearinghouse for news and information that doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of the major South Florida news outlets. However, as we watch thousands of people log on for information, it is clear that hyper-local sites based on solid reporting are the wave of the future.”
Colton, a litigation communications consultant, only launched the site last week. As an example of growth, more than 2000 people had visited the site on Tuesday alone, by noon.
“So called media experts say there is over saturation of reporting and a general sense of disinterest. I think this proves many people wrong. When there is solid reporting about events that people care about, presented in a non-opinionated way, there clearly is a market. We have not advertised at all. This success is purely from social media.”
Colton has also worked for Clear Channel communications (OTCBB:CCMO) which recently eliminated much of the local programming on its smaller market stations in favor of syndicated programming. Colton says that helps pave the road for hyper-local websites like BocaNewsNow.com.
“Clear Channel is a major company that deserves a lot of respect,” said Colton, “but at the same time proves the need for hyper-local sites like this. If you eliminate local programming, and the coverage of information that makes a community a community, listeners turn off the radio and start seeking what they need online. A right-winged or left-winged talk show from another major city isn’t the same as news-based programming, or content, about what’s happening three miles away. Radio used to be that information source. Now, it is hyper-local websites like this.”
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