The funding situation for hyperlocal websites in the UK remains “seriously challenged” – and that means they will be run by unpaid “activists and enthusiasts” for some time yet – media analyst Claire Enders said today.
Speaking at a Westminster Media Forum event on local media, the founder and chief executive of Enders Analysis said hyperlocal websites could learn from the model succesfully used in community radio, where hundreds of volunteers give up their time because they “care a lot about their communities”.
She said there would never be a shortage of community activists and enthusiasts interested in getting involved and giving up some spare time.
“The income picture for local websites has turned out to be seriously challenged,” Enders told the forum audience. “They have to exist out of a very enthusiastic, activist level of engagement.”
A recent Ofcom report found the UK community radio sector attracts more than 25,000 volunteer hours a week, with the average station having 75 volunteers on board.