Capital of Texas Media Foundation (Austin Monitor): Project Summary

The Capital of Texas Media Foundation aims to educate and engage the citizens of Austin and Central Texas about their local communities and civic entities. The primary tool of the foundation is the Austin Monitor, a Monday-through-Friday online publication that covers the city of Austin and the surrounding region.

The Austin Monitor plans to place a two-year selection of its archives on a map to experiment with traffic, time-delayed news consumption and use of its archives as an ongoing asset: Can the Monitor drive traffic by illustrating the direct, local impact of its reporting? Can it turn more readers into subscribing members of the site via a tool that encourages consumption based on location? The Monitor will measure traffic through the story map against traffic to the rest of the site and track whether story map viewers are more likely to turn into paid readers.

Reviewers believe this project could be directly replicable by any organization with substantial local coverage retained in its archives. It taps into the growing reader mobility between real-time and archived stories of relevance. If it works, it unlocks some unrecognized archive value. It also tests whether geo-locating stories and delivering content based on location can drive reader engagement and subscription sign-ups.