Are you a hyperlocal covering #GE2015?

Are you a hyperlocal covering this year’s general and local elections? If so, then Online Journalism Blog would love to hear from you!

In particular, we’d love to hear what you’re doing and how it is going, as well as if you’ve encountered any problems/challenges. Do leave comments below or contact us via Twitter.

We’ll then feature links to your coverage in a future post, as part of our wider efforts to showcase the great work being done by this sector, as well as where local publishers might need more help in terms of access to candidates, accreditation etc.

Related reading:

Tips on choosing the right Twitter hashtag: a tale of 5 hashtags

brumvote related tags

What do you do when you’ve been using a hashtag for some time and another one comes along with the potential to be more popular? Do you jump on board – or do you stick with the hashtag you’ve built up? How do you measure the best hashtag to use for your work?

That’s the question that a team of my undergraduate journalism students at Birmingham City University faced last month. And here’s how they addressed it. 

First, some background: in February this year the students launched their election coverage under the hashtag #brumvote.

The hashtag worked well – it took in everything from BuzzFeed-style listicles to hustings liveblogs and data-driven analysis of local MPs’ expenses and voting patterns.

Then last month a similar hashtag appeared: the BBC launched their own youth-targeting election project, with the hashtag #brumvotes.

At this point the students faced 3 choices:

  1. Keep using the #brumvote hashtag
  2. Adopt the new #brumvotes hashtag
  3. Use both

Changing hashtag would involve changing dozens of posts from previous coverage, but would the clout of the BBC mean missing out on a potentially more successful hashtag? Continue reading

Stop being a snob: 10 ways hyperlocal media is contributing to UK journalism

In a guest post, Damian Radcliffe says that hyperlocal sites are being held back by regional newspaper snobbery, while he gives 10 reasons why hyperlocal should be recognised as a valuable part of local media.

With decade-old sites like the London SE1 community website and OnTheWight being joined by newcomers such as East Grinstead Online and Alt Reading, the hyperlocal sector is an increasingly established part of our local media ecology.

Research suggests that there are 408 active hyperlocal sites in the UK – compared to 1,045 local and regional newspapers (2011 Newspaper Society figures cited by the NUJ) – and hyperlocal media has attracted attention from funders, policy makers and researchers in recent years.

Despite this recognition, there remains a glass ceiling for the sector, particularly in terms of relationships with mainstream media. Continue reading

AudioBoom on election coverage, moving from hosting to publishing – and SoundCloud

By Antia Geada and Agustin Palacio

The AudioBoom digital news team is facing its first big challenge: covering the upcoming General Election. 

The team was created at the beginning of the year, specialising in covering international news, as it aimed to be not only a platform where others share audio, but also a publisher in its own right. 
Team leader David Marsland has joined this group, which is now focused on engaging people in politics in the run up to the general election. He says:

“People don’t get involved with politics that much outside of the election’s time. But with the elections approaching, we are getting a lot of listeners for all of our political staff.”

Continue reading

Free travel and accommodation being offered to Journalists’ Colloquium on Crisis/Disaster Reporting in November

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is offering to pay travel and accommodation for journalists from ASEM countries (these include the UK, China, Australia, Spain, Thailand, India, Ireland and Japan) to attend the 10th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium on Crisis/Disaster Reporting.

The event will be held in Luxembourg from 4-6 November 2015.

Applications need to be submitted online by Tuesday, 12 May 2015 – more details here.

Linked data and why the current approach to archives is “just not working” – David Caswell on Structured Stories

By Agustin Palacio

Structured Stories is a news database under construction which intends to empower everyone to collect, use and improve a permanent record of news events. Creator David Caswell wants to switch the current approach to archives, which “is just not working”, for “some form of structured information that can be networked.”

According to Caswell, adding value to the structured narrative could be a way to return to something similar to the economic mechanism of the 20th century: a distribution-based bundle.

And as for journalists? Caswell believes it could be a powerful tool: Continue reading

“How do I embed a map/video/infographic/audio/timeline/chart/liveblog on WordPress?” Everything you need to know

wordpress logo

Every year one of the questions most frequently asked by journalism students is “How do I embed a map/chart/infographic/liveblog/video/audio/gallery/tweet/document in a WordPress site?”

Here is a comprehensive overview of what is and is not possible in terms of embedding, and what you should do if you cannot embed. Continue reading