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How can hyperlocal media create active
and digitally inclusive communities?
Damian Radcliffe
Centre for Research on Commun...
Running Order
1. Overview: definitions and typology
2. 10 examples of community impacts
3. Challenges for researchers and ...
Part One: Definitions and Typology
Definition
“Online news or content services pertaining to a
town, village, single postcode or other small,
geographically ...
Many different types of site
Different size patches
Town / City Visit Horsham: http://www.visithorsham.co.uk/
Blog Preston: http://blogpreston.co.uk/
P...
Varying Production Models
Created via a range of different production models, including:
1. Professional – websites run as...
… and different funding models
• Online Advertising
• Printed What’s On Guide (SE1)
• Printed Newspaper (Brixton Bugle)
• ...
Examples of some who’ve done it.
Well worth a look.
Bottom Line
There is no one size
fits all solution.
And no such thing as a
typical hyperlocal site.
They’re all different.
Part Two: 10 examples of impact
1. Holding authority to account
Local publishers have:
• Reported on by-elections
• Used open data to act as “armchair aud...
2. Campaigning
• Brixton Blog’s successful Save the Lambeth Country Show
• Hedon Blog’s ‘Hedon Pong’ campaign – saw Yorksh...
3. Civic Engagement
• Report problems
• Engage directly with officials
• Rise of civic tech movement
4. Giving communities a voice
Forums engage communities big and small.
Since 2002, 180,000 people have produced
nearly 7.6...
Daily stories about life in Spitalfields, East London. http://spitalfieldslife.com/
Focus on human interest stories and ul...
6. Providing useful information
• Bournville News took public information but presented it in a useful way,
producing a ma...
7. Reflecting cultural identity
• “Voices from the Motherland” strand on Digbeth is Good
• British Library is creating an ...
8. Promoting civic pride
9. Plugging gaps
Covering geographic areas – like the village of Parwich in
Derbyshire – or towns like Port Talbot deserte...
10. Old-school local reporting
• Traditional news
• Sport
• Events
• Arts,
• Links to local services
• Property
• Food and...
Part Three: Policy/Research challenges
1. Core problems remain
1. Discoverability.
2. Funding / Commercial Viability.
3. Sustainability.
2. Potential research gaps
• Civic impact
• Social Capital
• Non-market/content
• Conversations elsewhere
3. Cross-cultural synergies
4. Role promoting digital inclusion?
5. Wider Gov.UK impact
Thanks for
listening
Questions?
www.damianradcliffe.com
www.slideshare.net/mrdamian
www.twitter.com/damianradcliffe
www.li...
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How can hyperlocal media create active and digitally inclusive communities?

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Presentation given at the Centre for Research on Communities and Culture Review 2015 at Canterbury Christ Church University on 9th June.

The slides define and explore different types of hyperlocal media and community journalism, showcase how UK hyperlocals are delivering local journalism and explore potentially untapped areas for research.

Published in: Internet

How can hyperlocal media create active and digitally inclusive communities?

  1. 1. How can hyperlocal media create active and digitally inclusive communities? Damian Radcliffe Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures Review 2015 June 9th 2015 Damian Radcliffe
  2. 2. Running Order 1. Overview: definitions and typology 2. 10 examples of community impacts 3. Challenges for researchers and policy makers 4. Q&A
  3. 3. Part One: Definitions and Typology
  4. 4. Definition “Online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small, geographically defined community.” Radcliffe, Damian (March 29, 2012) "Here and Now: UK hyperlocal media today".
  5. 5. Many different types of site
  6. 6. Different size patches Town / City Visit Horsham: http://www.visithorsham.co.uk/ Blog Preston: http://blogpreston.co.uk/ Pegasus News: http://www.pegasusnews.com/ (Dallas-Fort Worth) Village Parwich.org: http://parwich.org/ Bournville: http://bournvillevillage.com/ Postcode / Ward SE1: http://www.london-se1.co.uk/ HU17: http://www.hu17.net/ Greater Jackson Ward: http://www.gjwn.net/news/ (Richmond, VA) Defined community e.g. estate, area, or niche geographic community of interest Weir Estate, Lambeth: http://www.wera.org.uk/ Clapham: http://www.loveclapham.com/ Leith: http://www.greenerleith.org/ Irish Philadelphia: http://irishphiladelphia.com/ Capitol Fax: http://capitolfax.com/ (News for Illinois political insiders)
  7. 7. Varying Production Models Created via a range of different production models, including: 1. Professional – websites run as a full-time operation, often by journalists e.g. OnTheWight and InDenver Times 2. Citizen run/produced – produced by citizens, often alongside a day job e.g. PitsnPots and Duke City Fix (Albuquerque, New Mexico) 3. Hybrid – sites combining the input of trained journalists and citizen input e.g. Lichfield Blog and Lakeland Local (Florida) 4. Aggregator/Automated – owners typically do not write any content. e.g. Planet Balham or Windy Citizen (Chicago)
  8. 8. … and different funding models • Online Advertising • Printed What’s On Guide (SE1) • Printed Newspaper (Brixton Bugle) • Social Media Services (Oakland Local) • Copywriting (Caerphilly Observer) • eBooks (Londonist) • Property supplement (HU17.net) • Weekly newsletter (ChiswickW4.com) • Groupon and local deals (Caerphilly Observer)
  9. 9. Examples of some who’ve done it. Well worth a look.
  10. 10. Bottom Line There is no one size fits all solution. And no such thing as a typical hyperlocal site. They’re all different.
  11. 11. Part Two: 10 examples of impact
  12. 12. 1. Holding authority to account Local publishers have: • Reported on by-elections • Used open data to act as “armchair auditors” and • Live reported from council and planning meetings General Election Coverage: Many of them are actively covered #GE2015 • Provided a tier of local reporting mainstream media cannot • Cover – and report from – Parish Council meetings and elections All areas increasingly overlooked by other media outlets.
  13. 13. 2. Campaigning • Brixton Blog’s successful Save the Lambeth Country Show • Hedon Blog’s ‘Hedon Pong’ campaign – saw Yorkshire Water invest £3.5m in odour control + provide compensation in the form of a £50,000 community grants fund Data suggests a third of hyperlocal publishers have run local campaigns
  14. 14. 3. Civic Engagement • Report problems • Engage directly with officials • Rise of civic tech movement
  15. 15. 4. Giving communities a voice Forums engage communities big and small. Since 2002, 180,000 people have produced nearly 7.6 million posts, on over half a million topics, on Sheffield Forum.
  16. 16. Daily stories about life in Spitalfields, East London. http://spitalfieldslife.com/ Focus on human interest stories and ultra-local history. Ambition to author 10,000 posts. “At the rate of one a day, this will take approximately twenty-seven years and four months. Who knows what kind of life we shall be living in 2037 when I write my ten thousandth post?” “Your blog has become a daily joy I look forward to savouring. It’s a bit like a grown-up (and sometimes not-so grown-up) advent calendar. I open it with the same anticipation…” “I love you gentle author. I read Spitalfields Life when my heart is worn. It makes me think of you and how remarkable the beauty. 2037 indeed. Hope I’m here.” 5. Local Storytelling
  17. 17. 6. Providing useful information • Bournville News took public information but presented it in a useful way, producing a map of Birmingham City Council gritting routes in Bournville. “I thought the potential grit shortage might mean that some roads would stop getting gritted should the cold spell continue and knowing which roads were meant to be gritted would be useful knowledge. ‘Will my road get gritted?’ is an easy question to answer since the City Council has a alphabetical list of all the roads that are gritted in order of priority.” (Quotes from Dave Harte.)
  18. 18. 7. Reflecting cultural identity • “Voices from the Motherland” strand on Digbeth is Good • British Library is creating an archive of these sites, to act as a digital record of life in these communities in the future
  19. 19. 8. Promoting civic pride
  20. 20. 9. Plugging gaps Covering geographic areas – like the village of Parwich in Derbyshire – or towns like Port Talbot deserted, or deemed too small / uncommercially viable to cover, by mainstream media.
  21. 21. 10. Old-school local reporting • Traditional news • Sport • Events • Arts, • Links to local services • Property • Food and drink features • What’s on guides All mainstays of traditional local media.
  22. 22. Part Three: Policy/Research challenges
  23. 23. 1. Core problems remain 1. Discoverability. 2. Funding / Commercial Viability. 3. Sustainability.
  24. 24. 2. Potential research gaps • Civic impact • Social Capital • Non-market/content • Conversations elsewhere
  25. 25. 3. Cross-cultural synergies
  26. 26. 4. Role promoting digital inclusion?
  27. 27. 5. Wider Gov.UK impact
  28. 28. Thanks for listening Questions? www.damianradcliffe.com www.slideshare.net/mrdamian www.twitter.com/damianradcliffe www.linkedin.com/in/damianradcliffe

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