You may or may not know that I’m hoping to set up a hyperlocal news platform for my local area in the coming months as part of my final year university project. Having drafted my proposal and discussed plans going forward with my uni tutor, there’s a couple of areas I’m looking into and would love some advice from those of you who have ‘been there and done it’ or are going through the same motions.
My concern is around how hyperlocal blogs ‘source’ news (in whatever sense of the word) and what methods work best. Up to yet – my experience of news production lies heavily in sourcing through the more ‘traditional’ channels – e.g. news feeds, emergency service press lines, monitoring other media platforms, community groups etc etc.
My idea is to make my own platform more of a community space and I’d love to get others on board who aren’t necessarily ‘journalists’ in the conventional sense. My dilemma then, is whether by using the more ‘traditional’ news sources, I am actually defeating the object of my own ‘independent’ venture; however I’m finding it difficult to see how I’d sustain this project without dipping into existing sources.
What are your thoughts? My instinct and common sense is saying that it will be a mix of both – trying to ‘find’ my own stories through community connections and the involvement of residents whilst keeping an eye on other media/sources and using leads as a basis for further investigating myself.
I’d love to know your experiences and any problems and possible solutions you have found to any of the above thoughts. Having limited experience of ‘hyperlocal’, I’m finding hard to ‘think outside the box’, for want of a better phrase! Comments welcomed.