Hyperlocal news: the time is now.

6 Feb

IN RECENT months, the journalism industry appears to have grown another branch, or at the least, extended a previous one.

Hyperlocal news, or blogs, are cropping up throughout the country, and it appears that the time for localised news is now.

With regional newspapers feeling the brunt of the recession, coverage on a localised level has reduced with papers thinning, and staff numbers seriously down.

Hyper-local refers to community-related news content, not typically found in the mainstream news; which ultimately will serve a minor geographic section.

In 2009, almost 30 regional tiles disappeared from existence, which makes the need for hyperlocal ‘bloggers’ ever-more important.

2010 is certainly the year for hyperlocal news to explode into life, with the Guardian filling three paid positions for journalist to run localised news blogs in Cardiff, Leeds and Edinburgh.

The advert for those positions read “This is a completely new role for the Guardian, which we believe reflects the shifting nature of journalism.” The successful candidates, who will work from home or “anywhere with wifi”, will know their “tweets from their yelps”.

It seems hyperlocal is one of the many new steps industry is taking to stay in touch with the digital revolution.

Grassroot news

A fellow course-mate and I, will be launching a hyperlocal blog for Preston in the coming weeks, at a time when student journalists are having to do or die.

With an industry that appears ever-shrinking, with job cuts, and convergence; as one of thousands of graduates, I must do everything I can to get to the top of the pack.

We are hoping such a site will serve the grassroot communities on news that larger newspapers, such as the Lancashire Evening Post, fail to deliver.

With newspapers declining, fewer staff reporters are spending less time holding the powerful accountable.

Hopefully, that’s where hyper-local will come in, only time will tell.

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