Tag Archives: Hyperlocal

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

A simple hyperlocal experiment which shows how publishers can engage with different audiences

liveblog engagement

Civic engagement? Most readers spent more than 30 minutes on the liveblog

On Monday I was involved in a fascinating experiment in civic engagement: 10 hyperlocal blogs all agreed to embed a liveblog of a hustings which would give inhabitants of the largest local authority in Europe an insight into the next council leader.

The liveblog itself was to be maintained by student contributors to the Birmingham Eastside news site. The decision to offer it out to hyperlocal sites across the city seemed obvious – so why aren’t publishers doing this regularly? Continue reading

Do hyperlocal and student websites fall foul of the new press regulator and libel laws?

leveson regulation guidance

The DCMS pubished this image to clarify the definition of “a relevant published” under proposals published in early 2013.

Nick Booth left a Press Recognition Panel consultation under the impression that non profit hyperlocals were going to be exposed by the new regulation system. Then legal experts suggested he’d got it wrong. So which is it? In a special post cross-published from Podnosh, Nick tries to tease out a complex law and ask: ‘when someone sues now, who pays?’.

Last week I spent a couple of hours at a consultation in Birmingham run by the Press Recognition Panel, which is the regulator set up to oversee the creation of (a?) new press regulator(s) following the Leveson Inquiry and the Royal Charter. (I know this has already got a bit “what?”, but stick with me.)

I was there because I’m interested in what it means for hyperlocal websites (which we have helped people set up over a number of years). Especially the implications for those run for the love of their community,  sites like B31voices or WV11 –  not run for the money. Talk About Local has already questioned whether hyperlocals fall within Leveson and I wanted to be clear one way or the other…

So this is how my thinking has evolved…. if you find an asterix next to an assertion I’m not 100% sure this is right. Continue reading

Hyperlocals and the BBC: contribute to a consultation

The BBC are launching a consultation with hyperlocal websites on how it can “work in partnership” as part of its Local Journalism Working Group.

From the announcement:

The proposals include the creation of a Hyperlocal Forum which will work towards a number of objectives and shared areas of interest, with initial partners including Nesta and the Carnegie Trust.

The proposals for comment are to:

  • introduce an external linking system, currently being rolled out to all BBC website Local Live streams across the country, to hyperlocals and bloggers, and ensuring their content is showcased and credited on the BBC website

  • include hyperlocal providers in training and events as part of its media partnership work

  • invite hyperlocal bodies to be represented on the Local Journalism Working Group and other relevant panels

  • ensure all local BBC teams are aware of hyperlocals operating in their area

  • promote an updated register of hyperlocal sites, expected to be published at the end of the year

  • engage with partners from across the hyperlocal community and other external media to establish a Hyperlocal Forum to meet twice a year from November.

Some of this work is already being done (particularly Local Live), but the register suggests a more comprehensive approach and linking has long been a concern.

Send responses to hyperlocalviews@bbc.co.uk by September 30.

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:

#Hyperlocal Voices: Niall Norbury, Alt Reading

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To kick off our Hyperlocal Voices series for 2015 Damian Radcliffe hears from Niall Norbury, Editor of Alt Reading. A relative newcomer to the scene, the only magazine celebrates its first birthday later this month.

1.  Who were the people behind the blog?

While initially it was just me behind setting up Alt Reading, it was always my intention to have the content produced by local residents in Reading.

Once the site was launched in January 2014 I was bombarded with emails from people wanting to write and get involved. Continue reading