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VentnorBlog shows us high-quality hyperlocal reporting with the Vestas story

Remembering a little comparative exercise that Tony Hirst undertook on the OUseful.info blog during the MPs’ expenses revelations, Journalism.co.uk thought it might be illuminating to re-visit Isle of Wight news production on the day of the Vestas case. How did hyperlocal site, the VentnorBlog – not just about the town of Ventnor – treat the Vestas story in comparison to the Isle of Wight County Press Online (in print, it’s weekly) and the national press?

Today’s court adjournment that saw the Danish owners of wind turbine company, Vestas, unable to force workers out of Isle of Wight factory. For the past nine days, about 20 workers have occupied the Vestas Wind Systems plant near Newport, which is due to close on Friday (around 625 workers are set to lose their jobs) but a possession order made at Newport county court today has been delayed until next week, as the company had not properly served papers on the individuals in the building, and the hearing took place prematurely [sources: the Guardian / VentnorBlog].

1. The Guardian

News report and video at this link. Blog post on ‘Vestival’. Other news content from earlier in the day and the week gathered at this link.

2. The Isle of Wight County Press.

A story reporting that ‘Judge denies Vestas eviction order’. The other news link takes us to other related stories, the last of which was printed Tuesday.

3. The VentnorBlog:

Rolling news, updated throughout the day. Eleven updates, lending themselves well to re-tweets (like Journalism.co.uk, the blog uses the TweetMeme button on its posts), posted since this morning including:

  • Video news content. Eg. this segment, with the announcement outside court:

Vestas sit-in: Case Postponement Announced To The Crowd from Ventnor Blog on Vimeo.

Previous coverage of the Vestas story on the VentnorBlog can be found at this link. NB: the VentnorBlog published its Vestival story yesterday lunchtime.

A comment left by ‘Eco T’ on the VentnorBlog is just one of the positive reactions to VB’s coverage:

“I would like to say that Ventnor Blogs coverage has been second to none. The most detailed and accurate report of any news service. I would like to thank ever one at Ventnor blog and hope you keep up the great work.”

The coverage is bitty (as you might expect as a story unfolds) and not necessarily completely balanced (most updates focus on the workers’ perspective), but the VentnorBlog has done an excellent job of providing the islanders (and outsiders) with raw and useful material, showing us how high-quality hyperlocal reporting is done.

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