Old-line Philadelphia public broadcaster WHYY has invested more than a million dollars towards last November's launch of NewsWorks.org, a website offering a mix of hyperlocal news, community partnerships, and civic and cultural reporting, combined with numerous layers of calls for user engagement. To date, the project has achieved some moderate success, with 210,000 visitors a month, and 45% of WHYY's total online revenue of $100,000 in fiscal 2011. The numbers fall far short of Philadelphia's online leader (Philly.com), which regularly attracts 7 million unique visitors a month. Similarly, the site's $45K in revenue pales in comparison with its reported $1.5 million operating budget.
NetNewsCheck has posted excerpts from an interview with WHYY's president and CEO, William Marrazzo, discussing the site's development, goals, and future. He provided three primary goals: to get some experience with hyperlocal portals; help in training multimedia newsmaking skills for their journalists; and to try to capture a younger audience to help grow their broadcast audiences. It's interesting that for a public service broadcaster, actually serving the public didn't seem to make the cut.
Source: "Could WHYY Redefine Public Media's Role?", NetNews Check