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Hyperlocals win funding to track other publishers’ use of their stories

Emma MeeseHyperlocal publishers will be able to track where stories of theirs are being used by other news organisations as part of a funding boost designed to help them make money from their titles.

Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism has secured €250,000 of funding from Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund to create new revenue streams for the community and hyperlocal news sector.

The cash will be used for the ‘Value My News’ project, aimed at developing tools to help hyperlocal news publishers make money from stories they publish, and will enable publishers to track their content around the web to see where it gets picked up.

In collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire’s Media Innovation Studio (MIS), the project will also allow bigger publishers to access, buy and republish editorial content from community and hyperlocal news organisations across the UK.

Earlier this year Emma Meese, director of Cardiff-based hyperlocal trade body the Independent Community News Network, raised concerns from members that their content was being “stolen” by bigger publishers.

The project will also help provide resources such as classified advertising templates and story ideas to help boost revenues, as well as examine ways to syndicate and pool work being undertaken by hyperlocals.

Emma, pictured, who is leading the project, said: “Creating a platform that will help community and hyperlocal news publishers earn more money for the work they already produce has been a dream of ours for a long time.

“Our mission is to create more jobs for journalists at a local level and to ensure the quality of grassroots journalism in the UK is the best it can be.

“I’m delighted to lead on this project as it has the potential to change the future of local news.

“Bringing independent publishers together and surfacing their content in this way has never been done before. It will allow us, for the first time, to really understand the value and the journey of hyperlocal news which is hugely exciting.”

Clare Cooke, principal investigator for Value My News at MIS, said: “I am inspired and excited in equal measure to work on a project that is both innovative and impactful.

“This is about better understanding the lived experiences of hyperlocals and bringing about real change in their revenue models.”

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  • July 24, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Hopefully I’m understanding this right… the hyperlocals can use some sort of tool to see where their stories are being ripped off and republished (sounds like google search)?

    Is the idea that they will then phone up those retrograde publishers and ask for a payment? Pretty sure the problem has always been that once news is published and it’s in the public domain it can be taken and reproduced and there is little recourse.

    Or are they expected to publish their news in some kind of login area where bigger publishers can dip in and pay to buy content before the hyperlocal makes it live?

    Any news ed with no budget would surely just wait until it’s live then rip it off.

    I’m a big fan of hyperlocal publishing, so happy to be corrected but as it stands I can’t see the value in this.

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