21 December 2014

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Uni sets up centre of excellence for hyperlocal sites

A centre of excellence for hyperlocal websites is set to be officially launched at Cardiff University in September.

The community journalism centre aims to provide a link between hyperlocal news sites across Wales, giving them training and advice in areas such as media law and digital technology.

It aims to research business models being used by such sites and eventually to come up with a sustainable model for how they can best be run.

Centre manager Emma Meese said it would be funded through running short courses in digital media, which will be open to everyone, and through grants.

She said: “There’s a big deficit since newspapers are in decline and in some areas there’s no local papers. There’s lots of hyperlocal sites pinging up everywhere but often without any guidance.

“We aim to have a fantastic network of hyperlocal sites and work with them to find out what help and support they need.

“We can hopefully get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t work and hopefully in the long term, come up with a sustainable business model.”

The centre aims to have its own premises where people can drop in and it is hoped the project can be rolled out to other parts of the UK in future.

Emma is keen to form links with hyperlocal sites in Wales and she can be contacted by phoning 02920 870101 or emailing meesee@cardiff.ac.uk.

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  • 1 Comment

    1. Miranda Piercy, Barnstaple Devon

      Hi I am currently the editor of hyperlocal Barnstaple People which I have been doing for a year but soon it will stop due to Northcliffe shake up my contract will end. I have applied for a full time freelance role there running 4 sites but do not know if I will be successful.
      If not I will set up my own hyperlocal.
      Please stay in touch as you hope to role this programme out over the UK. I am very interested.
      I have just started up a twitter account called @burntjournos for unemployed journalists and subs who may like to start their own hyperlocal sites.
      Please feel free to tweet any of your news there.
      Best Wishes
      Miranda Piercy (also known as Elise Editing) currently writing on http://www.barnstaplepeople.co.uk hyperlocal site.

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