A major report into the advancement of the hyperlocal press was published earlier this month, alongside a £1 million investment to stimulate the sector.
Destination Local, a 15,000 word study, identifies the technologies, business models, and content opportunities for a successful hyperlocal media sector in the UK. The report states that new location-based technologies, such as mobile phones with GPS, “offer a potential revolution for very local – or hyperlocal – media”.
Author Damian Radcliffe analyses the challenges faced by the traditional media trying to access local people, and hyperlocal bloggers looking to widen their audience.
The report was funded by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), an independent charity providing grants to digital innovation research projects. NESTA is offering 10 organisations up to £50,000 each to develop next generation hyperlocal media services.
A spokesperson for NESTA told Journalism.co.uk that although traditional business models are being challenged by the web, “the democratisation of media means that actually there has never been a better or easier time to set up and run a local media service.
Making it pay of course is another thing. The Destination Local programme aims to better understand the economics of delivering hyperlocal media at scale, in a sustainable way.
The application process closes on 17 May and successful bids will be notified by 29 June.