There’s a new news aggregator in town: RealtimeSTL.com, brought to you by the former regional editor of Patch STL, Kurt Greenbaum. The website curates news about St. Louis based on what is trending on social media.
“We’re bringing together sources of information from all over the St. Louis area. And we’re trying to organize this in a way so that readers can really find out what people are talking about in St. Louis,” Greenbaum said.
The role of news aggregation in journalism can get dicey, because it brings up issues of content ownership and branding.
“As a journalist, you want to have ownership of your material,” Saint Louis University Communications professor Amber Hinsley said. “But it’s an exciting opportunity to get your work out there to people who might not have seen it otherwise.”
In an effort to be fair to the original publisher, RealtimeSTL lists the source of the story in small print below the headline, and drives traffic back to the original website when a reader selects a story to read.
Greenbaum described the experience as akin to looking through a window. RealtimeSTL is the window, but you still see the original webpage through it, complete with advertising.