AddThis SmartLayers

Hyperlocal journalists aim to sell stories to publisher as new trial launched

Emma Meese 1Hyperlocal journalists are trialling a new service that will enable them to sell their content to a regional publisher in future.

The Independent Community News Network has announced the launch of Ping!, which aims to help hyperlocal journalists to monetise their original content by providing a free and easy-to-use platform.

ICNN titles in London and Yorkshire will work with Reach plc titles MyLondon and Yorkshire Live on a month-long trial of the scheme.

The platform will give national and regional news media access to articles and media from ICNN members through the sale of licences which can be bought to access all stories or just a particular topic, such as health, or stories relevant to a specific area.

Project lead and director of ICNN Emma Meese, pictured, said: “Today feels like the dawn of a new era in local journalism. Our long-standing aim has been to engage with the industry to ensure all journalists are properly and fairly rewarded for their work.

“I am delighted that Ping! is offering a solution that benefits all parties.

“On the very first day of the Beta trial we saw the platform connect journalists with relevant, local, public interest news stories.”

Ping! is a collaboration between ICNN at Cardiff University, the University of Central Lancashire and Omni Digital with funding from the Google Digital News Initiative and Nesta.

The trial aims to establish workflows, receive feedback on the system and ascertain which type of articles prove the most popular for sale.

ICNN also plans to roll out several additional Ping! services during 2021, including the ability for national news providers to commission original work from ICNN members.

Reach chief audience officer David Higgerson said: “We’re always happy to look at innovative ways to bring more readers to local news, and to work with other news publishers on this common goal.

“As far back as 2009, we were working with hyperlocal sites in the Birmingham area, and across the country have developed many relationships since.

“We look forward to collaborating with Ping! on this initiative.”