Richard Pope and Jordan Hatch have been building a very useful site tracking recent budget cuts, building up to this week’s spending review.
Where Are The Cuts? uses the code behind the open source Ushahidi platform (covered previously on OJB by Claire Wardle) to present a map of the UK representing where cuts are being felt. Users can submit their own reports of cuts, or add details to others via a comments box.
It’s early days in the project – currently many of the cuts are to national organisations with local-level impacts yet to be dug out.
Closely involved is the public expenditure-tracking site Where Does My Money Go? which has compiled a lot of relevant data.
Meanwhile, in Birmingham a couple of my MA Online Journalism students have set up a hyperlocal blog for the 50,000 public sector workers in the region, primarily to report those budget cuts and how they are affecting people. Andy Watt, who – along with Hedy Korbee – is behind the site, has blogged about the preparation for the site’s launch here. It’s a good example of how journalists can react to a major issue with a niche blog. Andy and Hedy will be working with the local newspapers to combine expertise.