WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


local news

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There was a time when “local” and “sustainable” were most often seen together as buzzwords for ethical vegetables; lately, these virtues are just as likely to be paired in conversations about digital news platforms.

Local news is experiencing both crisis and renaissance: as industry upheaval continues to swallow up metropolitan and regional newspapers (a site called Newspaper Death Watch sprouted up in 2007 to track the North American casualties), some of the journalists being turned into the streets are putting their ear to the asphalt, listening carefully, and participating in the online reincarnation of neighbourhood reporting.

Today’s column by the Guardian’s Roy Greesnslade, headlined “Local news crisis: look what journalists who know their patch can achieve,” offers an excerpt from a book by political correspondent Les Reid (What do we mean by Local?), in which Reid celebrates the community value of local coverage. He emphasizes local reporters’ abilities to scrutinize their politicians from close-up, and points to the opportunities offered by the Internet in terms of information-gathering, publishing space, and live coverage.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-22 18:18

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The New York Daily News tabloid has launched a new online section which seeks to appeal to the city’s South Asian residents, paidContent reported.

The new section, called “Desi,” features South Asian news curated for an American immigrant audience, including stories about Bollywood, cricket and politics, the article said. The stories found on Desi are a mixture of original content and articles from the digital newswire Newscred, the article said. As we previously reported, Newscred filters content from more than 750 sources around the world, creating personalized bundles of online content for publishers.

NY Daily News Digital Senior Vice President Steve Lynas told paidContent that according to research conducted by the newspaper, second and third generation immigrants demonstrated an interest in South Asian News, but presented through an American lens.

Lynas also said that culture is more of a factor in determining what news people are interested in, implying that the notion of local news in general can be redefined, the article said.

“I don’t see a zip code as a good filter for community,” Lynas told paidContent.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-23 12:55

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Denver Post editor Gregory L. Moore announced in a note yesterday that the paper is now putting local news on the front page. “Every day except Sunday, the front page and the first part of Section A generally will be devoted to our metro report, what we call Denver & the West. This change is an effort to reflect our continued emphasis on local news, including our business report,” he writes.

Why is the Denver Post making the switch? Andrew Phelps at Nieman Lab points out that “the Post’s national content is typically provided by The Associated Press, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Often, these are commodity stories, stories that readers can easily find elsewhere on the web — and, in many cases, stories that readers aren’t seeing for the first time in the morning paper.” So it doesn’t make sense to put them on the front page, when the Post could be giving greater exposure to its most original and community-focused content - content that readers can’t find elsewhere. 

Moore confirms this idea, telling Phelps, “we really want to promote the fact that we are spending an inordinate amount of time and effort trying to promote our local communities, and this demonstrates it better than any words can say.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-04-04 15:33

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A team of eight journalists has created a local news cooperative to tackle the closure of the traditional media in their South Wales town of Port Talbot, and to continue to provide community's news coverage (hat tip to the Guardian's Roy Greenslade.)

After Trinity Mirror's Port Talbot Guardian, the community radio station and the local council freesheet all closed down, this group of volunteer journalists launched the Port Talbot Magnet, a local news site which carries news sourced by professional journalists and members of the community, as NUJ Freelance bulletin reported.

Port Talbot Magnet is a not-for-profit community based on a cooperative principle: volunteer professional journalists collaborate with citizens who suggest, participate and fund coverage on local news.

It incorporates a 'Pitch-In' scheme, with members of the community contributing by donating money, suggesting ideas, sending pictures and helping to pay professional reporters to carry out the news coverage.

The underlying idea is that news has a price and it's worth it to the community to pay for it as it it adds value to their lives.

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-02-21 18:17

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UK regional publisher Archant and citizen journalism photo news agency Citizenside have teamed up to launch iwitness24, a community news platform which will help "to bring the locals back to local news", a press release announced today.

Archant readers, divided into 7 regional sub-communities, can contribute content through the website - accessible through a one-click sign in with Facebook Connect - or the iPhone and the Android applications. This allows them to share geotagged photos, videos, and text articles directly with their local newsrooms.

The initiative, which uses Citizenside's Reporter Kit technology, aims to allow Archant to more effectively engage with its readers and foster the power of its local communities.
Using the "Calls for Witnesses" tool, Archant can send geotargetted news alerts to members within 1 km of breaking news events to ask for their help in coverage, the press release explains.

"The technology actually associates a geolocation - provided when users sign up - with every member. With this tool, Archant's local journalists can then contact their readers they know to be in the area of a news event", Garrett Goodman, International Coordinator for Citizenside, told the Editors Weblog.

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-17 16:57

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Journalism has become a two way street. No longer do news organisations deliver news to their audience, the audience participates in making the news. Journalists rely on their readers to help create the news and report it to them via digital media. This process of audience participation just got a whole lot easier thanks to a new iPhone app.

As reported on Holdthefrontpage.co.uk, the app, developed by Concept 4 on behalf of The Chorley and Leyland Guardian , is one of the first U.K. iPhone apps to be developed for a local weekly paper and allows users to send text and images directly the newspaper. This should provide the newsroom with more user generated content than ever before, allowing reporters at The Chorley and Leyland Guardian to report on the stories that are the most significant to their readers.

So how does this compare with other methods of gathering user generated content? There are several ways in which an amateur reporter might go about sharing information:

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Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-20 17:30

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The local daily paper was once at the heart of every community; now it seems that the smallest publications are most vulnerable in this time of change and uncertainty within the media. So, how does your average local daily keep up nowadays? The answer, according to the findings of a study conducted by Joy Mayer, a fellow of the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), seems to be community engagement.

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Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-11 17:36

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François-Xavier Lefranc, director of the regional and local newspaper Ouest-France spoke at WAN-IFRA's Summer University in Paris about the paper's new strategy in developing and multiplying local coverage in order to increase circulation.

As the name implies, Ouest-France, with 47 local editions, covers three regions in the west of France: Normandie, Bretagne and Pays de la Loire, which represent a mosaic of territories with 12 departments and 4800 towns.

According to French circulation bureau OJD's figures, it is the best selling French newspaper and, after Le Parisien, its website is second in the ranking of French regional newspapers' websites with 8.7 millions unique users.
In recent years, the paper's strategy has been to multiply the number of edition for a same geographical area, creating new local pages. Since Ouest France started to introduce new editions 3 years ago, circulation has gone up, Lefranc said.

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-06-27 17:01

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According to the Associated Press, the shortage of in-depth local journalism is placed at the forefront of the FCC's long delayed report released today. The report examines the future of journalism, and follows an 18-month-long inquiry into traditional media business' struggle to adapt.

The report chronicles newspapers' drop in revenue, and cites the weak economy and advertisers' choice to market cheaply online as the main sources of the problem.

The report claims that the contraction of papers and absence of local journalism has had an "invisible" effect on press. The consequences leave "stories not written, scandals not exposed, government waste not discovered, health dangers not identified in time, local elections involving candidates about whom we know little."

A few recommendations were made to support local papers, but the report emphasizes that the independence of American press limits the government's ability to help. The report ends explaining the paradox of digital media: consumers have more news choices than ever, but there remains a "journalism gap" left by contraction of newspapers.

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Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-06-09 16:32

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The last rural news bureau in Eastern Kentucky is closing, according to Daily Yonder.

Kentucky's rural bureaus were historically responsible for bringing urban attention to injustices in small communities. The article notes that the effort to end strip coal mining was borne out of the coverage by reporters at Eastern Kentucky bureaus.

The Daily Yonder elaborates on the importance of local bureaus as a tool to link rural areas to larger cities and argues that local coverage enforced a Kentucky state identity in spite of social inequalities. In Eastern Kentucky, local news once ensured that national policies could address small town issues. In the current absence of a local print news source, rural communities face isolation on a state and national level.

One possible solution to this issue lies online.

Criticized for the threat it poses to local media, AOL's hyper-local news site Patch is one example of a response to the rapidly changing news industry. Although it has not expanded into Kentucky, Patch's niche news distribution is one alternative to traditional print press.

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Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-05-30 18:41

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Editors Weblog

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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