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Trinity Mirror hyperlocal platform to absorb news website

Lucy-Thorne-Pic-e14181386888722A standalone news website launched after its companion print title closed is set to be absorbed by a nationwide hyperlocal platform later this month.

Regional publisher Trinity Mirror has announced the merger of GetReading with its new, postcode-based news aggregation service InYourArea.

GetReading was set up in 2014 after TM closed its companion print title the Reading Post, with the company hailing it at the time as “a new and different future for regional publishing.”

InYourArea, which was launched last year, allows users to type in their postcode and receive the most relevant news and information for their area from a variety of sources.

No jobs have been lost as a result of the move, with the company saying two new staff have been appointed recently.

GetReading publisher Lucy Thorne, pictured, said: “We remain committed to covering Reading and Berkshire. This announcement is a merger and not a closure, no staff at GetReading will be affected by the changes.

“We have also employed two new staff during this period to help us reach out even more to communities around the area. We hope inyourarea.co.uk will allow us to get closer to the communities we serve and generate more conversation with our readers.”

GetReading will retain a presence on both Facebook on Twitter following the merger, which is due to take place later this month.

Lucy added: “We will continue to serve our readers with the content which matters most to them, through these channels and InYourArea.”

InYourArea allows readers to personalise their news feed to see posts from the areas which interest, while the site also offers a self-serve advertising platform for users.

Darren Sher, head of emerging products at Trinity Mirror, said: “The aim of InYourArea has always been to increase the discovery and awareness of local news and information sources, whether that be from local blogs, other publishers or public services.

“Teaming up with the GetReading team will increase discovery further and help to create a more direct relationship with the local community and the newsroom, making it easier to cover both hyperlocal and wider interest stories.”

14 comments

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  • January 6, 2018 at 7:35 pm
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    Not at all encouraging, this. If a digital-only news site can’t pay in the well-heeled Thames Valley, where can it?

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  • January 6, 2018 at 9:29 pm
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    Would that be the “In Your Area” which throws up data from over 200 miles away when I put my postcode in? I’m sure the people of Reading will love that. Surely within TM there is someone, anyone, who has an original idea which could revolutionise local online news.

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  • January 8, 2018 at 10:23 am
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    @Napoleon Solo, we have made a lot of changes to InYourArea over the last few months to improve its accuracy and we are dedicated to improving it further on a daily basis. If you could let me know which area you are seeing issues for, we can fix it. At the top right of each news item we allow users to flag stories that aren’t relevant for their location, each time an item is flagged it further improves the accuracy of future results.

    Whilst I appreciate you don’t see InYourArea as an original idea, it is proving very popular with our users, who in many cases weren’t aware of the various sources of news and information for their area. The aim of InYourArea is to support local news (both established publishers and local blogs) and to make local news and information more accessible, open, relevant and discoverable to new and existing audiences. InYourArea also gives local communities the option to have their voice heard and to inform other community members of events and updates in their area.

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  • January 8, 2018 at 10:47 am
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    Just had a quick gander at In Your Area and if there’s anyone willing to offer me odds on it lasting less than a year then I’m all in!

    Bigger issues aside, I couldn’t help but notice all the stories it reproduces from Devon Live website appear minus the first para. Given some of them are hard enough to understand when you can read them in their entirety, this is particularly unfortunate!

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  • January 8, 2018 at 11:27 am
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    The GetReading/Post stable has been a mess for 20 years due to poor management, and even the talented reporting and subbing staff have been unable to cover that. One failed editor described it as’the future of British newspapers..’ He wasn’t wrong there!”

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  • January 8, 2018 at 1:01 pm
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    @FredFunk, many thanks for your feedback. At InYourArea we want to encourage users to visit the source of the story. The summary text we show simply aims to give the end user the context of why the story is relevant to their location, which is why in the majority of cases the summary text is a snippet that includes the first mention of the location that the end user has chosen to follow (highlighted in green). This is particularly useful when the story is not from a local publication but is still of interest to the end user (since it is about their area). The user is then encouraged to click through to read the full story, in turn bringing the publisher of the story the traffic. As mentioned, we are building a platform that helps to support the local news industry by making the various sources of local news and information more accessible, open, relevant and discoverable to new and existing audiences.

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  • January 8, 2018 at 1:26 pm
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    Clearly Darren Sher is very easily pleased. The website is simply awful!

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  • January 8, 2018 at 2:16 pm
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    Having read Darren’s post above, I’m happy to accept this isn’t an unintentional flaw with the In Your Area website, but an intentional mechanism to drive visitors to the original story. Be that as it may, it is, IMO, a fundamentally flawed approach.

    Here, for instance, is a story, exactly as it appears on IYA:

    We always aim to get Topsham residents involved with the business. “My daughters help me with the wine and enterprise. We all muck in together to squash the grapes. “I am not really into the whole celebrity thing. I am more about people and the comm…

    Jumping to the first mention of the local area means coming in halfway through a quote and without any indication that this is a story about a well-known local wine producer who passed away at the weekend.

    If TM think this is the way forward then I fear they’re in a worse mess than we thought!

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  • January 8, 2018 at 3:12 pm
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    Thanks @fredfunk, I think you may be slightly unfair with your example as the headline just above that summary text is “Tributes paid to Dragons Den wine entrepreneur Geoff Bowen of Pebblebed Vineyards”.

    The combination of the headline, ‘summary text’ and image would hopefully give the end user enough information about the story to decide if they wish click through to read it in full. I appreciate it isn’t always ideal and we can certainly look to improve it further and try different approaches. The key is that if the end user finds the story of interest, they then go to the original source of the story to read it in full. Thanks again for the feedback.

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  • January 8, 2018 at 5:06 pm
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    Bit puzzled how this works.
    IYA news home page seems to be almost entirely GetReading content.
    If I key in my postcode, it builds a feed that is mostly Newsquest content, so anyone clicking on it goes to a Newquest website.
    It also links to a Lost Cat website., and the BBC. And one story from the Guardian about Londoners – far from local!
    Can’t see anything from any TM paper, despite there being one that sells in this area.

    If GetReading no longer has a standalone website for InYourArea to link to, then where does the ad revenue come from?

    The ad rate on IYA seems to be £19 for a one-week promotion. Hardly seems a money-spinner.

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  • January 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm
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    Well, it’s certainly improved since the last time I tried it, when googling In Your Area took you to a water company’s leak alert page. That being said, you can see from the feeds that automatically load when you enter your postcode and create a profile that news is quite a long way down the list, after the local council, for example; hence the top four stories it offered me were from 30 miles away, but all referenced the county council. The first news story, as has been alluded to above, came from a rival (better) publication and the first story actually to relate to one of the places specified in my profile selection was seventh on the list (one higher in the list mentioned it, but only because the court there had heard a case involving someone from a place I wasn’t interested in). I live in an area with one council and about three newspapers, only one of which covers my area. Surely everyone who might be interested in that content already subscribes to the same sources In Your Area is using, and why can’t I choose not to receive stories which mention the council, for example, whose press releases already constitute about a third of the copy in the local paper (one reason I gave up buying it)?

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  • January 9, 2018 at 7:48 am
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    Thought I’d better have a good look after the comments above.

    I’m afraid the views of HTFP readers are correct.

    I selected all the locations I was offered after inputting my postcode and was only given news from miles away. There is plenty of local news in my area (JP, TM and independents) but none comes up. Instead, I receive Newsquest news from 50 miles away and a smattering of news from the nationals, again for random, barely local, locations all at least 50 miles away.

    The bigger issue is that it’s got no search presence at all, unless you type in ‘in your area’, which obviously no-one will. Typing news x-town, local news, or anything like that doesn’t work.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm
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    @voice of reason @Steerpike @Ho Hum @Napoleon Solo @FredFunk @Moderately frayed hack – Hi all. I work for the InYourArea team and part of my job is to speak to people who use or have used our products. I would love to have a quick chat with you guys in your spare time to get as much feedback from you as possible on-top of what you have already said so we can use this information to help improve our product. For 20minutes of your time you will also receive a £15 Amazon Voucher. If you are interested please email me at matthew.robb@trainitymirror.com Thank you :)

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  • January 22, 2018 at 11:30 am
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    This move is distressing and decrepit. At least the getreading website had some sort of identity. My bottom line question is, are you serving readers the best you can, with the latest news supplied with unrelenting journalistic vigour? I imagine those days are long gone in these amalgamative, news dump days.
    And does ‘getreading’ as a brand exist any more?

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