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

Site Twitter handle


Facebook link


Year launched


Tax status

  • LLC

Monthly visitors



  • $50,000 or less

Primary revenue sources (50% or more)

  • Local advertising

Publishing platform

  • Other




  • Yes

E-newsletter subscribers


Is your site indexed on Google News?

  • Yes




New Jersey

Last Publisher Update

  • 2016-03-06 19:15:52 UTC

TAP into Sparta
Sparta, New Jersey
TAP into Newton, TAP into Sparta

TAP into Sparta is an independently-owned local news site operating as a franchisee in the TAPinto.net network. Launched as The Alternative Press in 2008 by Michael and Lauryn Shapiro, 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. The publisher of TAP into Sparta also operates TAP into Newton. Revenue: Advertising.

Introduction by publisher

Began in 2013 after more than a decade of volunteering for different organizations in the community.
TAP into Sparta covers the local schools and government highlighting the events, activities, accomplishments and achievements of residents, students, athletes and local elected officials. I report on issues of interest to the residents of Sparta.
It is a challenge to get businesses to break the print media habit for advertising. I consistently deliver more readers and charge less for a complete marketing package, unrivaled by print; averaging 35-40,000 impressions a month.

Effective engagement practice

In addition to email subscriptions all stories are promoted on facebook. Links to stories are also emailed to the subjects of the articles to be shared.

Business challenge

The local weekly newspaper is a habit for local businesses. It is hard to get them to break the habit. The local paper only publishes press releases, has no reporters and a shared editor, they don't cover the town and don't have the readership.
Readers have quickly caught on but businesses are slow to get it.

Coverage area

  • Community or town


  • Cover general local news

Topics of coverage

  • Crime & justice
  • Education & schools
  • Sports & recreation


  • Yes, occasional

Content contributors

  • Community members who are not journalists
  • Students

Contributor compensation

  • Freelance or part-time paid staff
  • Interns working for academic credit

Revenue-side compensation

  • Part-time commission only