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HTFP: Guardian Media Group to close six newspaper branch offices

September 16th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs

GMG is to make a series of cutbacks in the Manchester area with six newspaper branch offices set to close.

The papers affected will be: the Heywood Advertiser, the Middleton Guardian, the South Manchester Reporter, the Manchester Metro News, the Macclesfield Express and the Wilmslow Express.

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Huffington Post local launches Chicago site

August 14th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

A beta version of the Huffington Post’s new site for Chicago has gone live.

The site is the first of a potential dozen local Huffington Post sites set for launch and will aggregate news for Chicago from local sources and posts from local bloggers.

Local information, such as crime stats, events listings and nightclub opening hours, will also feature in a ‘rotating at-a-glance’ way, said editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington in an introduction to the new site.

“Transferring The Huffington Post’s blend of news, opinion, and community – delivered with our familiar look and attitude – to a local level, HuffPost Chicago is part local news source, part resource guide, and part virtual soap box,” said Huffington.

The site will be edited by Ben Goldberger, a former reporter with the Chicago Sun-Times.

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MediaGuardian: BBC local video plans ‘very damaging’ says, Newspaper Society

August 13th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

The organisation representing the regional newspaper industry has hit out against the BBC’s plans to increase local video online. The Newspaper Society said the proposals, which would see up to £23 million spent across 60 local BBC websites, “will compete direct with our members’ operations in a harmful fashion”.

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EveryBlock teams up with the Chicago Tribune

July 24th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized

EveryBlock, the local news and data aggregation service, has gone into a beta partnership with the Chicago Tribune.

The paper will publish a map and local news articles powered by EveryBlock, an announcement on the site’s blog says. Articles from the last 48 hours will be plotted on the Trib map to allow users to search geographically.

“[I]t’s an experiment in a new form of news dissemination – that is, news filtered at the block level – and journalists can look to us for inspiration in new forms of publishing information. Second, we unearth a lot of government data that journalists might be interested in researching further,” EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty said in an interview with Journalism.co.uk.

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Guardian: Channel 4 ponders move into regional news

July 3rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Channel 4 is mulling over the a possible move into the gap in regional news broadcasting left by the retreat of ITV services.

The broadcaster is in discussion with Ofcom and ITV about investing funds in regional news services and infrastructure – a move which could strengthen its public service broadcasting hand.

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Everyblock launches in two new cities

July 1st, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized

Hyperlocal news mapping site Everyblock has launched in two new cities in the US.

Charlotte and Philadelphia join Chicago, New York and San Francisco as cities mapped by the site.

Adrian Holovaty, founder of local crime news site chicagocrime.org, launched Everyblock at the start of the year as a destination where users could search for civic information and news items by address, postcode or neighbourhood on an interactive map.

Holovaty started the site with a £550,000 grant awarded by last year’s Knight News Challenge competition.

In addition to the public information already found on the city maps the new sites will add extra layers of content.

The Charlotte map will include library information, updating listings with new titles available locally and chart all local 911 calls to the police and ‘significant police events’ in the city.

The location of series crimes will charted on the Philadelphia map along with areas mentioned by the local authority’s Streets and Services agenda bodies.

Any area of Charlotte mentioned in city council meeting minutes or zoning minutes will be charted on that map.

“We’re analyzing the text of these meeting minutes/agendas for all locations referenced therein,” wrote Holovaty.

“If the city council or rules committee mentions something near you, you’ll see it on your EveryBlock page.”

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Rob Curley: reflections and lessons from WPNIs Loudoun hyperlocal project

The self-confessed internet nerd from Kansas reflects on the successes and failures of the hyperlocal project his team developed while he was head of online product development at Washington Post Newsweek International.

Curley and several of his team have now moved on to develop online sweetmeats for the Las Vagas Sun – but Curley responds to an WSJ article about his development of a hyperlocal site for an area of Virginia near Washington – LoudounExtra.com.

The article headline called the project a flop – something Curley rejects.

However, he’s in agreement with the general tone on the piece, saying that the problems with the site were ‘poor integration of the site with washingtonpost.com and not enough outreach into the community’ but stands by the general aims and achievements of the site to connect to people on a local level as still being the primary focuses of newspaper websites.

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Boston Globe enhances local search with MetaCarta

June 12th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Search

Boston.com, the website for the Boston Globe, has added MetaCarta‘s geotagging technology to improve the localised search on the site.

Content from the site and others that are included by Boston.com’s search will be automatically tagged by MetaCarta allowing users to search by geographical area.

The aim, says a press release from the New York Times Company, is to increase the frequency of users and page traffic.

In March MetaCarta to launched a new website mapping news stories from across the globe, having previously teamed up with Reuters to offer a map of US news stories.

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Press Gazette: Latest Trinity Mirror relaunch includes hyperlocal community features

Trinity Mirror has relaunch the website of West London’s Hounslow Chronicle.

The new site includes hyperlocal community features – pioneered by Trinity’s Teesside Gazette – for areas of Hounslow, Feltham, Isleworth and Brentford.

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Ohio’s leading newspapers to share stories across web

April 24th, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Eight of the largest newspapers in the US state of Ohio have forged an alliance to share their top stories.

The Columbus Dispatch, The Toledo Blade, the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Akron Beacon Journal, The Plain Dealer are amongst newspapers making up the membership of the newly formed Ohio News Organisation (with the unfortunate acronym, OHNO).

Rather than relying to the Associated Press to decide at the end of each news day whether or not to distribute their stories, the papers will now post content to private website – accessible only to those eight newsrooms – from which partner organisations will be able to select pieces to use.

Ted Diadiun, readers representative for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote in his blog that readerships of individual paper would not be threatened as each covers a distinct city, and that story pooling would help them provide a better news service for readers.

“In today’s world, breaking news is measured in minutes, not days,” he wrote.

“It’s important that we provide our readers with the best news reports we can, as soon as we can, on our website and in the best and most current newspaper possible each day.”

All involved are adamant that the move doesn’t signal the end of journalistic competition.

However, no mention has been made on whether any money changes hands for the use of stories or whether AP will still syndicate the stories that are being placed in the new system.

It could just be a neat way to bypass the wire service and cut the cost of using its copy for local news.

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