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The concept of hyperlocal

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Josh Halliday (@joshhalliday), a journalism student at University of Sunderland, has been running SR2 Blog in Sunderland for three months. The site has been particulalry successful, and as part of Josh’s sudies, he put together a concept document which includes some very useful paragraphs about the hyperlocal phenomenon and where hyperlocal reporters should go for stories.

This may come naturally to a seasoned hack, but to community reporters with little journalism training the slides below may help you focus your own reporting and make sure you get the right balance between covering on- and off-diary events, council meetings and aggregating other local content. It also gives some very useful tips on how to make sure your content management system and user interface attracts more contributors, and brings together research on what some of the best UK hyperlocal sites are doing.

There is a decent section on how hyperlocal blogging increased civic engagement. Some research he quotes finds:

“A community computer network facilitates civic participation by providing pervasive local resources online and by connecting to local communication and discussion channels, public and non-profit organisation leaders and members and many other civic resources.”

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