Multimedia journalist Adam Westbrook has today released a new ebook about hyperlocal newsgathering, drawing on his experiences as a local reporter.
Its introductory price is £4.99 and Westbrook is optimistic people will pay: “I’ve purposefully kept it at a low price so its not a big investment even for someone just toying with the idea of starting a hyperlocal blog,” he told Journalism.co.uk.
“I think ebooks have a lot of potential because they have a quick turnaround. Any physical book on journalism is usually out of date before it hits the shelves!
“To that end I will be updating the book with collaborations with other bloggers, and hopefully producing at least one new title.”
And what exactly is ‘hyperlocal’? After all, Westbrook covered three counties during his time as a reporter. “I think the power of hyperlocal is in doing a small area really well,” he said.
“In my experience even local papers can’t really drill into a single community and often cover several towns. I think the typical hyperlocal will cover a single town or single village. It will need to have the same journalistic ambitions as a paper but with very few people and little or no budget. That’s why I wrote the book, to show people they don’t need a big newsroom to do big news.
Lichfield blogger Philip John has reviewed the book for his site JournalLocal, at this link. While John has some criticisms, he says that the book, ‘Newsgathering for Hyperlocal Websites,’ “is definitely a good start in helping hyperlocal owners to organise themselves and make sure they have all the information they need to serve their community”.
Both Philip John and Adam Westbook will be talking at Journalism.co.uk’s news:rewired event on 14 January.