March 12, 2008
‘Hyperlocal’ media – a new spin on community news
A Glasgow based social enterprise is breaking new ground in local news coverage. Using a combination of a monthly, full colour community newspaper and a community website the group, Southside Media, are promoting something called ‘citizen journalism’
Southside Media aims to be a model for the creation of sustainable not-for-profit hyperlocal citizen journalism across Scotland and beyond.
What do we mean?
Hyperlocal means that we try to provide news coverage of community-level events that are usually overlooked by bigger media.
When we talk about citizen journalism we mean that we try to encourage members of the community to share their own stories and images directly with their neighbours through our community websites. This content can also be published in our community newspapers and used as a guide for our staff, so that they can concentrate on the stories that are really important to local people.
In June 2007 an article in the Sunday Herald named Southside Media as a pioneer in the publication of hyperlocal media in Scotland.
We produce not-for-profit papers with news and views that are right up your street.
Since December 2005 we’ve published a monthly community newspaper called G41, which serves the G41 postcode area in the southside of Glasgow, covering the communities of Dumbreck, Pollokshields, Shawlands, Strathbungo, Crossmyloof and Langside.
In August 2007 we started publication of a sister community newspaper called G42, serving the neighbouring G42 postcode area, including Govanhill, Crosshill, Toryglen, Mount Florida and Battlefield.
Both papers have 20 pages and are published in full colour. As well as hyperlocal news, sport, features and views, they have a shared What’s On guide full of information about local events.
We also publish and maintain two community websites at g41.org.uk and g42.org.uk.
We’re really interested in ideas about citizen journalism. Our sites give local people the chance to tell their own stories. Registered users can write their own articles for publication, submit events to a community calendar, take part in debates in forums and make comments about any content that’s submitted to the site. They can also share images and write their own blogs.
The idea is for people to share narratives about their community. We think this can help create stronger links in communities, gives people a sense of pride and encourage joint action for change.
The content posted by local people on our websites is often reproduced in our newspapers and is used as a guide for our staff, so that they can work on stories that they know are important to the community.