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October 01 2010


Headlines and Deadlines: My first death knock

Liverpool Daily Post and Echo digital journalist Alison Gow recalls one of her first “death knocks”:

I saw the boat, and it stopped being a lark. The Double R was a corpse – a beached wreck with her paintwork sandblasted away and holes punched in her keel. She lay, tilted to the side, with the cabin smashed in. That was when I truly understood I was reporting on the aftermath of a tragedy. Someone I vaguely knew had gone out, buttoning his coat against the storm, to secure his boat and means of employment, and he had died an unimaginable death.

Full post on Headlines and Deadlines at this link…Similar Posts:

September 20 2010


Eastern Daily Press providing content through Foursquare

Thanks to Stephen Keable from the Eastern Daily Press for alerting us to the title’s use of Foursquare after we reported on Metro’s deal with the location-based service.

The EDP already has a Foursquare presence. When users of the service check in to many locations around Norfolk, the EDP provides restaurant reviews, mobile downloads and information on where to buy a copy of the paper locally. It seems there’s only been a couple of check-ins so far, but as if Foursquare user numbers grow the title will already have itself represented on the network.

Let us know if your title is using Foursquare and how in the comments below.Similar Posts:

July 20 2010


June 30 2010


Scoopland: Alternative NUJ Regional Press Award Winners

Deputy editor of the Camden New Journal Richard Osley shares his thoughts on prize-worthy regional journalism, following last night’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Regional Press Awards.

The News in Portsmouth took four awards at the event yesterday. While congratulating the paper, Osley recommends the Cambridge News, Kent on Sunday, the Argus in Brighton, the South London Press and Birmingham Mail.

Full Scoopland post at this link…Similar Posts:

April 16 2010


Media Release: Birmingham Post launches sister title Birmingham Post Lite

As reported by The Business Desk West Midlands earlier this week, Trinity Mirror is launching a new freesheet as a sister paper to the paid-for Birmingham Post, which changed from a daily to weekly publication last year.

Birmingham Post Lite will be delivered to around 18,000 homes in the south Birmingham areas of Harborne and Moseley and will contain a selection of the Birmingham Post’s editorial content and material from its Post Property magazine, says a release.

The new newspaper will not carry the paid-for Post’s specialised business
and financial news. Instead it will combine south Birmingham news with the features and leisure content from the Post’s award-winning team.

The BusinessDesk (TBD) had the date pegged as April 22, but suggests the launch is a direct response to plans for a new rival title, the Birmingham Press, from newspaper entrepreneur Chris Bullivant.

“The title (…) is intended to go head-to-head with the Press in the battle to secure advertising from the city’s mid-market estate agents,” says TBD’s report.

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March 30 2010


Civic Edition: Text message marketing for local newspapers

This blog post from Civic Edition, a site looking at new and innovative business models for community news, considers whether local businesses offering discounts via local newspapers could be improved as a revenue stream for both the papers and the merchants.

Via the paper’s website users could opt in to receive information about offers from local businesses by text message – but most importantly, says Civic Edition, these offers could be sent out in real time and instantly updated by the merchants to reflect their business needs.

Using an imaginary pizzeria, Julie’s Pizza, as an example, the post explains:

The new system allows her to adapt in real time to business circumstances, and give her customers information that they can actually use. This ultimately creates far more value for the merchant, making it something that she will actually want to pay for. As more merchants catch onto this far more efficient marketing model, it will provide a way for the newspaper (turned newshub) to monetize its pre-existing community base.

Full post at this link….

If your paper is already doing this, do drop us a line.

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March 18 2010


allmediascotland: Scottish government drops plans to remove public notices from newspapers

The Scottish government has scrapped its plans for legislation, which would have allowed local authorities to place public notices solely on the internet. The proposals had been heavily criticised by representatives of the local press, who feared the legislation would cut off a much-needed revenue stream.

But the fight from local authorities isn’t over – a spokesperson for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities says the portal for public notices will still go ahead and evidence to support the future introduction of such legislation will be gathered.

Full story at this link…

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March 05 2010


Liverpool Daily Post hosting its own online literary festival

The Liverpool Daily Post will run its own online-only literary festival from 15 March.

The LiveRead festival will run from 15-19 March and feature liveblogged chats with authors and live writing workshops with Merseyside writers.

The Post is also tapping into its community of Flickr users by asking them to submit images of reenactments of their favourite literary scenes.

As part of the festival the Post will also use online storytelling tools Xtranormal and Storybird to encourage amateur writers to create their own multimedia stories.

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March 04 2010


Big numbers vs local audience – what should regional newspapers chase?

The conflict between chasing huge web traffic figures or meeting the demands of a core local audience online is one of the key challenges facing regional newspaper websites, according to a group of digital editors, who gathered last week at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLAN) Digital Editors Network meeting.

Coming together on the same day as the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic (ABCe) figures for the regional press were released, assessing current strategies for building web traffic was certainly topical. January had been a record month for the Lancashire Evening Post, digital editor Martin Hamer was proud to say with 8,215 user comments on articles on the site and 4,121,621 page impressions for the month beating the previous record of 3 million.

Average time spent on the site per visit had never been more than 6 minutes, but had risen to 6 minutes 15 secs in January, said Hamer.

Crucially 85.65 per cent of those visits came from within the UK – a figure the Post is keen to increase and several of the editors present said they had abandoned promoting content via social sites such as Fark, which had previously been used to drive traffic to websites from an international audience. With some local advertisers said to be in need of some digital hand-holding, the group suggested that guaranteeing a strong local online audience would be crucial in securing ads.

Web analytics are helping digital editors to understand the casual nature of most reader’s experience of their websites, added another journalist, whose group of sites sees 32 per cent of visitors only looking at one page, but a core 5-10 per cent looking at 10 pages in one sitting or visiting several times a week.

Growing that 10 per cent and make their engagement deeper and monetise it should be the priority, he added, and there have been some big shifts in the thinking around this recently: several groups admitted to cutting back or dropping video and podcasts entirely.

Instead building interaction using social media was encouraged and, as part of this, not chasing big numbers on these platforms, but rather focusing on engaged, local users and improving the service to meet their demands. Focusing on who those followers are and responding to those users who engage with the paper via those platforms will be more of more value in the long term.

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March 03 2010


Election 2.0: Will it be ‘gotcha’ time for journalists?

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk after last night’s event on the role that new media will play in the forthcoming election, Matthew McGregor, London director of Blue State Digital – the agency behind Barack Obama’s new media presidential campaigning,  said it was important not to overlook journalists’ own use of social media in reporting and gathering the news.

The interesting thing for me about blogging is that so many journalists have started blogging to try and get their stories out quicker, to try and publish stories that they are know are interested and printable, but just don’t make it into the paper.

Local political newspapers and their blogs will be interesting [during the 2010 election campaigns]. For example, the Nottingham Evening Post has a politics blogger, who will break stories that might not get into the newspaper, but will be of national importance.

But the rise of the blogger outside of journalism will be a game changer for those in the profession covering the election, added McGregor. While the pre-preparedness of the party leaders ahead of the TV debates may save them from newsworthy gaffes, as suggested by BBC political editor Nick Robinson, the way in which journalists cover the news and interact with candidates will leave them open to ‘gotcha’ moments. The dissection of the National Bullying Helpline story is just the start.

A game-changer for local media?

The openness that politicians have with Twitter and Facebook means they can’t hide and there’s no point trying to, because authenticity can’t be faked.

Journalists covering the election from a local angle have a lot to gain from using social networks to track candidates, suggested McGregor. Candidates may well try to bypass mainstream media to connect with voters – local media needs to get in on the act in this interim space.

There’s also an opportunity for local journalists to push their election stories to a national level using new media channels, he added, echoing comments made by fellow panellist DJ Collins, Google’s director of communications and public affairs EMEA on the benefits of this to the general public.

You’re not just local anymore, especially during an election (…) and people vote a home who have moved away.

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February 02 2010


Salford Star: Council newspaper costing £27,797 a month – what impact on local news?

Figures released by a Freedom of Information request made by the Salford Star suggest that Salford Council’s Life in Salford magazine is costing £27,797 per month, the title reports.

The Star asks what the production of the magazine and the council’s expenditure on it mean for local news outlets – the Salford Advertiser has recently withdrawn free home delivery from more postcode areas, while the Star “struggles to get back into print”:

While the Salford Star and the Salford Advertiser are only available free online, an estimated two thirds of Salford’s population do not have access to the internet.

The only free printed information people are now getting about their city comes courtesy of Salford City Council and its Life in Salford magazine. With no criticism of the Council, no debate, no accountability, low quality content and bucket loads of public money showered all over it…

Full story at this link…

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January 20 2010


Econsultancy: ‘How small newspapers can make money from Twitter’

Ben LaMothe expands upon an idea he had at last week’s news:rewired conference of local newspapers making money through building focused, well-researched Twitter networks.

Newspapers are selling their Twitter streams as an targeted advertising platform. If you’re a small newspaper and you sign up 10 businesses to a Twitter advertising scheme, charge them £100 per week, you could end up with a few thousand pounds worth of advertising revenue.

As your Twitter following grows to a certain point, adjust your rate to reflect the growing audience. If it drops, to a certain point, adjust it down.

Full post at this link…

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January 04 2010


IFNC update: CN Group, STV, ITN and Bauer in race for news consortia pilots

Following news at the end of last year of new bids from partnering media groups for the independently funded news consortia pilots (IFNC) in Wales and the Tyne Tees and Borders region, Scottish broadcaster STV has confirmed its bid in partnership with ITN and Bauer Media for the scheme in Scotland.

ITN now has its hat in the ring for all three of the proposed pilot projects for the consortia, which will form a replacement service for ITV’s regional news network. ITN will work with Johnston Press, Newsquest, Metro Radio and the University of Sunderland on its Tyne Tees plan and ITV, Northcliffe, Newsquest and Tindle Newspapers on the Wales bid.

In competition for the north east pilot it will face a tender from UTV and a separate bid from a partnership of Trinity Mirror, the Press Association, TV production company Ten Alps and now additionally newspaper publisher CN Group. The TM/PA consortium will announced further partnerships for its bid, a press release from Trinity says.

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December 24 2009


Press Gazette: MEN shifts part-paid, part-free strategy

The Manchester Evening News is cutting down the number of days on which the paper will be freely available.

The MEN will now be available only as a paid-for edition on Monday to Wednesday and Saturdays. A mixture of free and paid-for copies will still be distributed on Thursdays and Fridays.

The paper began its experiment with distributing free copies in the city centre and paid-for editions in outer areas in April 2006. But uptake of the freebies has recently leapfrogged paid-for sales.

Full story at this link…

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December 18 2009


December 11 2009


Bing’s Local Lens app – potential for local news journalists?

Via Lost Remote, a demonstration of a new application from Bing (Microsoft’s search property). Local Lens is a ‘neighbourhood blog app’ and can plot hundreds of blogs within a specific area on a map. The most recent posts will also be displayed and tweets can be overlayed on the map too.

The app is currently in beta and so only covers a group of US cities at the moment. The Los Angeles map is at this link and shown below:

Map from Bing's Local Lens application

But there’s potential here for tracking how local news and issues break and spread on blogs, as well as creating a visualisation of local social media reaction to an event or report.

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December 09 2009


#aopforum: Liveblog coverage on microlocal media discussion

For those of us unable to attend today’s Association of Online Publishers (AOP) forum on microlocal media (hyperlocal/ultralocal/local – whatever you want to call it), we’re lucky to have the liveblogging skills of journalist Caroline Beavon, who will be covering the sessions as they happen from 2:30pm.

Starting with: Sarah Hartley, launch editor for the Guardian’s local project:

Sarah Hartley at AOP

Click Here!


Paul Bradshaw, senior lecturer in online journalism, Birmingham City University (from about 2:50pm) on monetising microlocal:

Paul Bradshaw @ AOP

Click Here!


A case study from Roger Green, managing director of digital media, Newsquest (3:35pm):

Roger Green at AOP

Click Here!


Panel discussion (4:05pm) featuring the above and:

  • Lori Cunningham, digital strategy director, Johnston Press
  • David Higgerson, head of multimedia at Trinity Mirror
  • James Thornett, executive product manager, local & llocation services BBC

AOP Panel debate

Click Here!


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November 20 2009


November 13 2009


Guardian Letters: GMG, Coventry Telegraph and Cumberland news respond to Monbiot on local press

Les Reid, political correspondent for the Coventry Evening Telegraph; Mark Dodson, CEO of Guardian Media Group’s regional media division; and Neil Hodgkinson, Cumberland News and News & Star editor, have responded passionately to George Monbiot’s criticism of the UK’s local press earlier this week.

In his Comment is Free piece entitled ‘I, too, mourn good local newspapers. But this lot just aren’t worth saving‘, Monbiot said:

“For many years the local press has been one of Britain’s most potent threats to democracy, championing the overdog, misrepresenting democratic choices, defending business, the police and local elites from those who seek to challenge them. Media commentators lament the death of what might have been. It bears no relationship to what is.”

“They [local newspapers] continually uncover stories that need to be told. They campaign for and champion the underdog with a tenacity that would shame many in the national press. Their community relevance is what keeps local titles alive,” writes Dodson in response.

“In Greater Manchester our journalists stand up in court at least three times a week attempting to have reporting restrictions lifted so that stories can be told in full. I know that other regional press publishers share our commitment to real local reporting.”

Full letters at this link…

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November 10 2009


George Monbiot: Local newspapers are dying – but are they worth saving?

George Monbiot’s latest Comment is Free contribution is sure to spark debate.

Entitled ‘I, too, mourn good local newspapers. But this lot just aren’t worth saving’, Monbiot, apparently prompted by his local newspaper, writes:

“For many years the local press has been one of Britain’s most potent threats to democracy, championing the overdog, misrepresenting democratic choices, defending business, the police and local elites from those who seek to challenge them. Media commentators lament the death of what might have been. It bears no relationship to what is.”

Full post at this link…

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