Three hyperlocal things to read this week, 25th March 2013

March 25th, 2013 by Glyn Mottershead in Hyperlocal | no comments

Hyperlocal Media & new rules for Press Regulation

Will hyperlocals be hit by the post Leveson rules? That’s the question Sarah Hartley asks over at Talk About Local. As  says in an earlier piece on the issue:

“Well in short, right now, we don’t know, but it looks like some sites may fall within the proposed new regulations if this screen grab is anything to go by.”


To understand more of the reasons for – and against – such a move, you may want to read a short (well 2,500 words) thinkpiece I produced for DemSoc last year as part of a series of essays submitted to the Leveson Inquiry.

The essay can also be found on the MeejaLaw website. Or you can read Roy Greenslade‘s summary – and feedback – on my piece on the Guardian website. I think everything I said in 2012 is still 100% relevant to the debate in 2013. Do you agree? [READ MORE]


Hyperlocal Voices: Geoff Bowen, Sheffield Forum

In a previous round-up we mentioned an article by Daniela Gerson over at Online Journalism Review which explored the rise of the forum on the US hyperlocal scene.

For UK hyperlocal followers, the Sheffield Forum is a great example of how forums continue to be relevant. They may not be flashy, but if well set up and managed they can be a great resource for communities. Now ten years old, the Sheffield Forum is not only well established. It is also huge, with over 150,000 registered users and up to 500,000 unique visitors every month. It is home to more than 6.4m posts, with another 2,000 added every day.

“Given the daily volume of posts, we need to come up with better ways for the users to find the content that’s relevant to them,” founder Geoff Bowen told me in a recent interview.  [READ MORE]


The State of News Media 2013

This annual report on American Journalism is always worth a read. Featuring detailed reports on different segments (e.g. magazines, newspapers and digital developments, it offers valuable insights into news trends across the pond.

Some key points to note include:

“Signs of the shrinking reporting power are documented throughout this year’s report. Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978. In local TV, our special content report reveals, sports, weather and traffic now account on average for 40% of the content produced on the newscasts studied while story lengths shrink….

…This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands. And findings from our new public opinion survey released in this report reveal that the public is taking notice. Nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to.

At the same time, newsmakers and others with information they want to put into the public arena have become more adept at using digital technology and social media to do so on their own, without any filter by the traditional media.”  [READ MORE]

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