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#jpod – Hyperlocal news: Struggles for sustainability online and successes in print

April 20th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Hyperlocal, Podcast

The debate into how to make hyperlocal websites pay for the journalism they carry has been discussed for as long as the local news sites have been running.

Earlier this week we reported how Nesta announced late last month that it was putting up £1 million to fund hyperlocals. That followed a move four months ago when the Lebvedev family launched the Journalism Foundation with a local political news site, Pits n Pots, as one of the first two projects it was supporting.

This podcast looks at the current ideas for making hyperlocal sites sustainable, including public funding, and we hear from three hyperlocals, all of which have published print products to raise awareness of their web offerings or to make their business models pay. technology correspondent Sarah Marshall speaks to:

  • Rachel Howells, a director of the Port Talbot Magnet and a PhD student researching the impact of the closure of local newspapers.
  • Richard Coulter, former chief sub-editor and assistant editor at the Bristol Evening Post who now runs the Filton Voice, a (profitable) hyperlocal print magazine now into its seventh edition.
  • Mike Rawlins who runs Pits n Pots, which is backed by the Journalism Foundation.
  • Damian Radcliffe, author of the Nesta report mentioned above.
  • Andy Williams, a lecturer at Cardiff University who has research interests in the local newspaper industry in South Wales.

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