Michele's List
Building blocks in the emerging local news ecosystem

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Statistics
Site Twitter handle

@roxburytap

Facebook link

www.facebook.com/roxburytap

Year launched

2014

Tax status

  • Sole proprietor/no specific tax status

Monthly visitors

30,000

Revenue

  • $50,000 or less

Primary revenue sources (50% or more)

  • Local advertising

Publishing platform

  • Developed in house

E-newsletter

  • Yes

E-newsletter subscribers

900

Is your site indexed on Google News?

  • Not sure

City

Kenvil

State

NJ

Last Publisher Update

  • 2016-03-16 02:20:35 UTC

TAP into Roxbury
Roxbury, New Jersey
Fred Aun

TAP into Roxbury is an independently-owned local news site operating as a franchisee in the TAPinto.net network. Launched as The Alternative Press in 2008, the network shifted to a franchise model with independent ownership in 2013-14 and re-branded as TAPinto. The network provides franchisees with tech support, regional ad sales, editorial guidelines and business training in exchange for an annual fee. Revenue: Advertising.

 

Introduction by publisher

After more than 20 years as a print journalist, opportunities were slim for me once I got laid off from a marketing position in late 2013. When I heard about the TAPinto network, I knew I could do the news coverage part, but I also knew how tough it would be to support myself selling local ads.
I was right on both counts. The site has grown nicely and now gets up to 60,000 monthly pageviews. I also have steadily added advertisers. But I am earning less than half of what I made in the 1990s. Local businesses are tight with the money.
I also never get a vacation! However, I am doing what I do best. I'm my own boss. People in town love the work I do. I've downsized my lifestyle and, as of now, life ain't so bad ... at least not as bad as in 2008 when all my freelance work went up in smoke.
One problem with this setup is my inability to follow stories as they reach county court. So I cover the robberies, but not the pleas, trials and sentencings. Same with lawsuits.

Effective engagement practice

Facebook. All stories are teased to my Facebook page. I also to tweets, but Facebook is my main method of publicity.

Business challenge

Squeamishness by prospective advertisers. Complaints by advertisers who say the ads brought no business. Sheer volume of ads I need to sell to earn a decent living in New Jersey, since I can't charge too much for the ads.

Coverage area

  • Community or town

Mission

  • Cover general local news

Topics of coverage

  • Crime & justice
  • Education & schools
  • Government & politics

Watchdog

  • Yes, occasional

Institutional partners

  • None

Content contributors

  • Students

Contributor compensation

  • Volunteers