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Students relaunch the Cardiffian to fill gap left by Guardian Cardiff closure

Trainee newspaper journalists from Cardiff School of Journalism have relaunched the Cardiffian, a hyperlocal.

One of those involved, Tom Rouse, explains how it is run.

The news site is staffed by trainee newspaper journalists at Cardiff School of Journalism. With 29 reporters, each assigned their own patch, we are able to cover a large part of Cardiff at a ward level and cover a depth and breadth of stories which engage with communities on their own level.

The site was originally set up for last year’s students, so our focus this year has been reviving a site which has lain dormant since April and rebuilding ties with local community groups.  This background means we have not had to build a readership from scratch, but has presented a different challenge in ensuring we offer something different from what is already out there.

Fundamentally, the Cardiffian is a news site and a chance for us to put our work in a real world setting.  The majority of our second term is dominated by our first efforts as journalists in sourcing stories and producing a paper. As this paper is produced as a training exercise it allows us to make mistakes in a safe environment. Putting our work up on the Cardiffian builds upon this by giving us an invaluable opportunity to gain feedback from readers about the stories we’re writing and understand what works when presented to an audience and what doesn’t.

But, we are hoping to make the site far more than just another source of news in Cardiff. We want to fill the niche in the local online community which was left vacant by the demise of Guardian Cardiff and act as a hub for a variety of content, not just our own.

This means a large part of our strategy revolves around making ourselves useful to communities and encouraging them to engage with the site, whether that means submitting their events to our listings page or writing a guest blog on an issue they feel passionately about. We are hoping to build a genuine two-way relationship with our readers,

Glyn Mottershead, lecturer in digital journalism at Cardiff University, said:

The key point of the site is to help our students learn about the ways in which the industry is changing, to understand content and community strategies and build a living portfolio of work.

It is also an opportunity for them to engage with groups in Cardiff and try and help them get their message out.

The first year was very much a news site, which worked well in its run and received good feedback. This year is more about involving members of the community in the site and trying to understand and support an online community that is interested in what is happening in the city around them.

The site is also a bit more of a lab than other parts of the course and gives the students the opportunity to explore ideas that may be of interest to the community and suggest changes to platforms and strategies based on genuine feedback from them.

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Hyperlocal ad trial spreads to Guardian Local’s Edinburgh and Cardiff sites

April 26th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Advertising, Local media

As reported by Journalism.co.uk last week, the Guardian’s trial of hyperlocal advertising system Addiply has spread across all three of its recently launched local “beatblogs”. The system, which offers low cost adverts that can be sold on a weekly or monthly basis with different rates for different sized customers, went live on the Leeds site last Thursday before being introduced to the Cardiff and Edinburgh Guardian Local sites.

Publishers retain 90 per cent of the revenue earned from the ads, with the remaining 10 per cent split between Addiply and PayPal.

“One of the things Addiply is good for is for people to be able to promote their own community events and local services. It’s not designed or intended to bring in big name advertisers; it’s more for the smaller advertisers in the community or for people listing individual items for sale,” Sarah Hartley, Guardian Local launch editor, told Journalism.co.uk last week.

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Future of Journalism: live video from Cardiff

September 9th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Training

If like us you haven’t been able to make it to Cardiff for the two-day Future of Journalism conference, you can watch it live-streamed by following the instructions at this link.

It’s the second biennial conference hosted by the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and held by the journals Journalism Studies and Journalism Practice. Its introduction notes:

“In these fast-moving times, journalism faces huge challenges and opportunities, although these are shaped, given additional impetus and direction, or slowed down by the distinctive journalism cultures and markets which prevail in different regions of the world.”

As one of its participants, Professor Alfred Hermida (the second of his sessions is ‘Twittering the news: the emergence of ambient journalism’) noted on his blog, there is also:

Conference timetable available at this link [PDF].

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BBC could share more technology with S4C/Trinity Mirror in Wales, says Trust chairman

February 24th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting

In a speech given to Cardiff’s Business Club last night, BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons added more weight to suggest more regional news partnerships between the BBC and competitors are in the pipeline:

  • More on partnerships: work is ongoing on partnerships in regional media with ITV; and between Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide.
  • Could BBC enter into an IT-sharing agreement with S4C and ITV in Wales to reduce operational costs?
  • Revamp of Broadcasting House in Wales could benefit local media with technology sharing arrangements.
  • “Perhaps even Trinty Mirror could have a role to play too [in partnering the BBC for regional news provision], given their journalistic presence in Wales and their significant online operation.”
  • And, just in case you doubted it: “The BBC local video project is dead. We have told BBC news that it must come up with a different solution.”

Here’s his comments as a Wordle:

Wordle of Michael Lyons' speech to Cardiff Business Club

But, a note of caution from Lyons on partnerships:

“What we’re not interested in are proposals that simply transfer value from the BBC to other players in the market (…) Let’s make sure that we don’t inadvertently turn the BBC into the Lloyds Bank of the media world.”

Yesterday the Beeb’s Executive announced plans to link out to external news providers from its network of BBC Local sites.

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WalesOnline: Rejection of video plans could cause job losses at BBC Wales

November 24th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick, Jobs

Friday’s rejection of the BBC’s local online video proposals ‘appeared to come as a surprise to BBC management in Cardiff’, reports WalesOnline.

“The decision, I’m afraid, also raises serious questions about the level of reinvestment we were hoping to receive. The investment would have helped the process of delivering efficiency savings and would have offered redeployment opportunities,” a note from BBC Wales controller Menna Richards said.

“Inevitably that process will now be much harder.”

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Big outcry over the Welsh Big Issue’s move to … Scotland

October 3rd, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Magazines

The NUJ have got some celebrity backing to help the protest against the Big Issue Cymru’s move up north.

The opera singer Katherine Jenkins, Radio One DJ Bethan Elfyn and award winning author Rachel Trezise have all voiced their support for an NUJ campaign to keep the The Big Issue Cymru in Wales, after it was recently announced that production would move to Glasgow and leave just one member of staff in Wales. The editor and designer are both facing redundancy.

Jenkins sung said in a release issued today: “I don’t understand how this could continue to work being edited from Scotland? My fingers are crossed, as it would be a very sad day for Wales to see the editorial being written in Glasgow, hundreds of miles away from where it’s all happening.”

And Bethan Elfyn is concerned that only one member of staff only representing Wales will be a ‘token gesture’.

“[It] will not be a good reflection of the world, the people and the activities here in Wales. I hope the sales and the good works that BI does for the homeless won’t suffer as a by-product of these cuts and changes,” Elfyn said in the release. “The staff in Cardiff worked damn hard and will be sorely missed.”

Meanwhile Trezise, author of ‘Fresh Apples’ (which was derived from an entry for the Big Issue Cymru’s short story competition) said that the magazine is “a vital source of income for the homeless in Wales”.

“It is also a very culturally significant publication; one of few independent Welsh media voices that supports native arts,” Trezise said.

The NUJ is also concerned that the move and cutbacks could mean an end to the Welsh speaking content in the magazine.

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Facebook useful to local news? If it opened up the networks

January 10th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Online Journalism

The Guardian may be adopting strategies to make itself more Facebook-friendly but the lack of truly local geographical networks on the social networking site makes it more difficult for smaller papers to make great use of it.

The UK currently has 17 regional networks that users can become part of, here they are:

facebook grab

The regional networks, which unsurprisingly centre on larger towns and cities, offer reporters a great ‘in’ to the online community on their patch. A reporter working for the Manchester Evening News, for instance, or one of its smaller titles in the Greater Manchester area is at a distinct advantage over a reporter working on a paper in a smaller town:

facebook grab

Just a brief, cursory glance at the Manchester group throws up leads for several potential stories amongst its 500,000 plus members. The ‘See what’s popular’ feature and the discussion board make it a simple place to seed stories as well as one in which to ask for information and pick up leads. But where would you go if you lived in Burton on Trent?

Burton is a town in Staffordshire that – if you’ve defining it in terms of Facebook regions – is slap bang between Nottingham and West Midlands. Not much use then if you’re a reporter on the Burton Mail.

Burton has 103 groups related to it on Facebook – a lot of ground to cover for any hack – but like many other towns across the UK it has no network and Facebook doesn’t allow users to establish there own networks. Users have to make that request to the site:

facebook grab

If Facebook gave it’s users the ability to create these networks themselves it would solve a lot of headaches, but don’t expect that to happen in a hurry. So come on reporters on papers in Burton, Derby, Reading, Cardiff, Norwich and the like. Get a campaign going to get your town recognised as a network on Facebook. It can make the day job a hell of a lot simpler.

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