Local journalism’s biggest challenge is still waiting to be solved

Here’s my prediction for 2019: We’re going to spend a lot of time talking about how to fund local journalism. Not perhaps the most remarkable of predictions – and certainly in the same league as that of BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan, who says he doesn’t expect the Cairncross Review into quality journalism to saveContinue reading “Local journalism’s biggest challenge is still waiting to be solved”

Local journalism’s mission: Becoming obviously relevant again

If you read just one piece of journalism-related stuff this weekend, make sure it’s Mary Hamilton’s 13 learnings from working at the Guardian. One of the most successful digital journalists to have begun their career in the regional press, Mary’s article on Medium is rightly winning plaudits, and deserves the widest possible audience. For me,Continue reading “Local journalism’s mission: Becoming obviously relevant again”

Ignored by the party leaders? Maybe local journalism needs to come off the fence

Local journalism has long been proud of its impartiality when it comes to covering elections. But in failing to see that it’s possible to offer endorsements while still providing balanced coverage, aren’t we effectively making ourselves irrelevant in the most important local conversation of all? An investigation into the access afforded to local journalists byContinue reading “Ignored by the party leaders? Maybe local journalism needs to come off the fence”

Regional journalism’s digital tipping point: Are we there yet?

When people speak to the digital tipping point, they tend to be talking about revenue, of the moment when digital revenue growth replaces fully the loss of print cash. Definitions of what that looks like, and what is contained within each pot, vary widely. I’m not looking at that in this post – but insteadContinue reading “Regional journalism’s digital tipping point: Are we there yet?”

Maybe the solution to fake news lives on our sports desks

Many millions of words have been written about the scourge of fake news, and I’ve some bad news: I’m about to offer a few hundred more. But hopefully they will convey a point which hasn’t been discussed up until now. Fake News isn’t new. The impact Fake News has had (if it can be proven)Continue reading “Maybe the solution to fake news lives on our sports desks”

Why we need to tell readers about how we report the news

If you were to list the changes digital media has ushers into newsrooms across the UK, the list would quickly become long. The one I want to focus on today is the change in audience expectation and behaviour. Gone are the days when post-publication interaction with readers was confined to conversations with those who hadContinue reading “Why we need to tell readers about how we report the news”

How a ‘slow news week’ can separate the local Press stars from the critics on the sidelines

  One of the myths swirling around Hackademia these days – and among many commentators who have exited day-to-day life within the regional press – is that focusing on audience analytics somehow undermines quality journalism. And of course, there is a risk of that being the case. It depends on how you use the metrics.Continue reading “How a ‘slow news week’ can separate the local Press stars from the critics on the sidelines”

Facebook needs to offer newsrooms a panic button for important stories

Shortly before the elections in the summer, I was sat outside Dublin Airport trying to get an Uber ride to the Irish Mirror. A pop-up appeared on my screen telling me it was important to make sure I’d registered to vote. Uber – reminding me of my civic duty to vote. Doing, in some ways,Continue reading “Facebook needs to offer newsrooms a panic button for important stories”

Learning from hyperlocals to make sure the news still matters

How do you define success as a local journalist these days? Number of front pages? Number of page views online? A sense of job well done at the end of the week? All of the above make sense in the here-and-now, an instant sign of job well done. But to find the key to aContinue reading “Learning from hyperlocals to make sure the news still matters”

The long and short of shorthand is this: It’s useful, but not proof you can be a journalist in 2015

Perhaps the greatest challenge regional journalism faces is attracting the right new recruits to the industry. Make no mistake, we work in a challenged industry. But to ensure there is a future for that industry, the industry needs to make itself attractive to people with the right skills and ideas. Increasingly, that means recruiting peopleContinue reading “The long and short of shorthand is this: It’s useful, but not proof you can be a journalist in 2015”