SR2 Blog - The concept of 'hyperlocal'

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A presentation on the concept of my hyperlocal news website for Sunderland SR2, SR2Blog.com. Presented on December 17 2009.

A presentation on the concept of my hyperlocal news website for Sunderland SR2, SR2Blog.com. Presented on December 17 2009.

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  • 1. SR2 BLOG will bring together like-minded engaged citizens whose concerns and interests can be effectively expressed on a collaborative website. The aim is for a social news site; users (meaning publishers and visitors) contributing to a greater knowledge of Sunderland SR2, its residents, events, businesses and prospects. Josh halliday
  • 2. i What? SR2 BLOG is a „hyperlocal‟ news website tightly focused on Sunderland SR2 and contributed to by members of the SR2 i residency. Hyperlocal? Hyperlocal refers to a burgeoning number of news websites that cover a geographically smaller area than local, regional, or national media.
  • 3. iWhere? Sunderland echo patch
  • 4. i Where? Sr2 blog patch
  • 5. Neighbourhoods: i Where? • Ashbrooke • Hendon • Ryhope • Grangetown • Hillview • Thornhill Roughly a 4 miles square area of Sunderland. Approximate population of Sunderland SR2: 30,000 - 35,000 Approximate population of Sunderland: 280,807 Population of Sunderland source: http://bit.ly/5k0NkV (2001 UK census)
  • 6. i “Fast-changing local news landscape” - Sarah Hartley, Launch Editor, Guardian Local why? (why now?) A noticeable shift: • ‘Some titles covering a wider area resulting in some loss of localised content’; • ‘Some titles disappearing altogether’; • ‘Perception of a loss in news content - more advertising, thinner papers’; • ‘Prices of newspapers have risen despite some reduction in content depth.’ Source: Ofcom Review of Local Media: Qualitative Findings (July 2009) http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/morr/reviewlocal.pdf [p.17]
  • 7. i “Fast-changing local news landscape” - Sarah Hartley, Launch Editor, Guardian Local why? (why now?) Trinity Mirror launch network of hyperlocal news sites. Northcliffe launch network of hyperlocal news sites. Johnston Press launch network of hyperlocal news sites. Guardian launch project hiring hyperlocal bloggers in UK cities. Ofcom‟s June 2009 Digital Britain report pushed idea of Independently funded news consortia (IFNC).
  • 8. i “Fast-changing local news landscape” - Sarah Hartley, Launch Editor, Guardian Local why? (why now?) ‘Focusing on the potential of the Web to serve geographic communities should be the driver of future industry innovations and industry-oriented research.[...] ‘With nearly limitless space constraints, the Web can offer newspapers the opportunity to provide expansive coverage of geographic areas without increased material and printing costs. This geographic focus can be amplified with additional reporting, citizen- produced news, formal or informal weblogs, and additional etools.’ [...] ‘The challenge to local newspapers in light of dwindling circulation figures nationwide is to stay geographically relevant,’ Rachel Davis Mersey (2009) ‘Online News Users’ Sense of Community’: Journalism Practice 3: 3
  • 9. i online centres in sunderland why? (why sr2?) Source: Well-researched anecdote (!)
  • 10. “ i Who‟s looking to build what down my street? Is burglary on the rise in Hendon? Why did the church down our road close it‟s doors all of a sudden? What happened with all those who? sirens whizzing past our house last night? Typical visitor Age: 30-60 53% sunderland echo readership female Household income: £25,000-£40,000 Aged 35-44 Socio-economic classification: C1C2D 65% C2de (working (‘lower middle class’, ‘skilled class) working class’ and ‘working class’) Statistics compiled by JICREG, taken from January - June 2009 13.4% of Hendon/sunderland: c1 (lower managerial) 36% of 16 -74 Hendon/sunderland: no qualifications Statistics: 2001 UK Census Socio-economic classification definitions source: www.nrs.co.uk/lifestyle.html
  • 11. “ i Who‟s looking to build what down my street? Is burglary on the rise in Hendon? Why did the church down our road close it‟s doors all of a sudden? What happened with all those who? sirens whizzing past our house last night? Typical contributor Membership in local Age: 35-50 organisations Household income: £25,000-£40,000 Average age of person using online ‘’community- Socio-economic classification: C1C2D oriented networks’ - 46-47 (‘lower middle class’, ‘skilled years old. working class’ and ‘working class’) Time lived in area a factor A. Kavanaugh et al. (2004) Socio-economic classification definitions source: www.nrs.co.uk/lifestyle.html
  • 12. i 23% (of 1017 UK citizens) accessed news online at least three times a week – ‘more men, who? younger and middle-class people.’ Livingstone & Markham (2008) But... Digital Sunderland 66% broadband-connected – online centres in sunderland national average 57% Source:http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/ cm/cmrnr08/uksummary.pdf 2007 Digital Challenge programme > increased internet access for ‘socially excluded’
  • 13. Why read local news online? i who? Selected consumer-identified benefits: • Provides choice and control over local content consumption; • A one-stop-shop for most types of local content; • Readily-accessible source, able to access information on demand; • Natural way to access local information for many participants who already use the internet regularly in their daily lives Source: Ofcom Review of Local Media (July 2009) http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/morr/reviewlocal.pdf
  • 14. i how? £££££££ £40.59 Potentially £96 per annum Critical mass? Four advertisers / two regular contributors Then small commissions?
  • 15. Age: 11 months (est. Jan 2009) i others? i September 2009: 2,414 unique page views per month. success? Age: 11 months (est. Jan 2009) October 2009: 40,000 page views per month. November 2009: Advertising revenue - £70+ per month Age: 2 years 9 months (est. February 2007) November 2009: 10,267 visitors per week (30/11 – 06/12)
  • 16. i What news? Sunderland’s only 24-hour church closed its doors and now hosts services primarily online. Not covered by local, regional, or national media. SR2 school plans to demolish part of its Grade 1 Every reported crime in a 1 mile square area listed building and build more classrooms. over a five week period is mapped. Not covered by local, regional, or national media. Not covered by local, regional, or national media. There‟s more >>
  • 17. Council refuse plans for four new houses to be built Takeaway on one of ASB ‘hotspots’ applied to sell near Tunstall Terrace, saying it would encroach and deliver alcohol, with fierce opposition from onto neighbouring roads and may risk public influential local citizens. safety. Not covered by local, regional, or national media. Not covered by local, regional, or national media. Breaking news. Breaking news. Not covered by local, regional, or national media. Not covered by local, regional, or national media.
  • 18. i green: diary events orange: aggregated coverage What red: voicebanks light blue: council documents news? dark blue: off-diary grey: content of community meetings 23/10/09 – 12/12/09 NePhilly.com
  • 19. i What effect? A community computer network facilitates civic participation by providing pervasive local resources online and by connecting people to local communication and discussion channels, public and non-profit organization leaders and members, and many other civic resources. A. Kavanaugh et al. (2004) Participating in civil society: the case of networked communities online centres in sunderland
  • 20. i Any questions? Josh halliday, community publisher http://sr2blog.com E: editor@sr2blog.com T: @SR2blog