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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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 →
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.)
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.
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.
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 →