Tag Archives: Hyperlocal

“Data matters — but people are still the best sources of stories”  —  insights from investigative journalist Peter Geoghegan

Peter Geoghegan

Peter Geoghegan

In a guest post Jane Haynes speaks to investigative journalist Peter Geoghegan of the award-winning news site The Ferret about data, contacts and “nosing up the trousers of power”.

When the Scottish Government announced last month that it was banning fracking, it was a moment to savour for a group of journalists from an independent news site in the heart of the country.

The team from investigative cooperative The Ferret had been the first news organisation to reveal plans by nine energy companies to bid for licences to extract shale gas from central Scotland.

Using a combination of contact-led information and FOI requests, they uncovered the extent of the ambitions to dig deep into Scottish soil.

Firms target more of central Scotland for fracking

It was part of a steady flow of fracking stories from the Ferret team, ensuring those involved in making decisions were in no doubt of their responsibilities and recognised that every step would be scrutinised. Continue reading

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Pete Sherlock on Twitter This is the first piece of content the BBC has shared under a new partnership with the News Media Association

Local publishers — want some data journalism content from the BBC? Local News Partnership applications open again

The BBC’s Local News Partnership — a project to support local and hyperlocal media through access to extra content and staff — has just opened up applications to its second stage.

The ‘Section Two’ stage is focused on contracts for Local Democracy Reporters — but applicants can also now just complete the ‘Section One’ application to receive BBC content. Continue reading

Why a council is threatening journalists’ access — and what it says about local news

ban symbol by Vince

Ban symbol – photo by Vince

A council is warning it will reduce access to journalists if they aren’t regulated or don’t offer a right of reply. Andrew Brightwell asks if this marks a turning point for journalism’s relationship with local councils.

Two weeks ago, Thurrock Council approved its communications strategy, setting out how it will talk to residents and media.

Communications strategies are approved every day by councils without controversy, but Thurrock’s has provoked accusations that the authority wants to play ‘judge and jury’ to its coverage in the media, as YourThurrock first reported.

What does Thurrock Council’s strategy say?

Most of the document — which you can read here (PDF) — is innocuous, but a section on media liaison says it will only consider journalists’ organisations as ‘media’ if they are signed up to a press or broadcast regulator. Continue reading

Hyperlocal publishers: BBC inviting feedback on local reporter and data hub plans

Map of BBC local democracy reporters

Image: BBC

Some time ago the BBC announced that it would be supporting local journalism by paying “local democracy reporters” (LDRs) to cover councils, courts and public services. The resulting stories would be supplied to local and hyperlocal news organisations.

Last month at an event in Birmingham more details were unveiled — and they didn’t make promising reading for hyperlocal publishers, as one of my students, Jane Haynes, reported: Continue reading

41 key moments in the history of online journalism {now 45} – have I missed any?

July 7 bombings image

A key moment in recent journalism history: Adam Stacey’s image taken during the July 7 bombings

In the history chapter of the Online Journalism Handbook you will find a timeline of key events in web journalism. While working on the forthcoming second edition I recently revisited and updated the timeline. Below are the 41 key events I have settled on — but have I missed any? Let me know what you think. Continue reading

FAQ: Cheap readers and the future of local news

Every so often a journalism student sends me questions for an assignment. I publish the answers here in the FAQ series. The latest set comes from a student in Australia writing for Upstart magazine at La Trobe University, and focuses on the local press. 

1. Is the reader not worth as much on the internet?

Readers have always been worth different amounts in different contexts. It’s not that the reader is ‘not worth as much on the internet’, but that most readers on most websites are worth less. Continue reading

Free investigation training for independent journalists and publishers

CIJ logo

On August 17-18 the Centre for Investigative Journalism is organising some free training workshops for independent community based journalism outlets in Birmingham (and yes, I’ll be helping too).

They write:

Through investigative training; advice and guidance in journalistic practice; and support in building regional networks and sustainable business models we aim to revive local and community based reporting to address the democratic deficit left by a decades-long decline in budgets, staff and overall plurality across the UK local media industry.

The new programme hopes to help independent publishers improve their ability to gain access to information and investigate issues affecting their communities, and to share their findings in the public interest.

Some of the reasons behind the training include:

  • to encourage greater government and corporate accountability at a local level
  • to support democratic scrutiny
  • and to reinforce civil society from the ground up

Birmingham isn’t the only region this will be happening, but it will be the first. If you are interested in being involved, please contact us at tom@tcij.org.

Due to the remit of this project CIJ are only able to provide training to journalists working with a specific community/regional focus on a part-time or voluntary basis. The project has been funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust