Sep 18 2015
In his recently published report “WHERE ARE WE NOW? UK hyperlocal media and community journalism in 2015” Damian Radcliffe draws the picture of the present landscape of hyperlocal journalism in the UK. The report has analysed more than 40 recent academic and industry reports to provide a definitive view of the UK’s hyperlocal and community journalism sector in 2015.
There are more than 400 active hyperlocal websites in the UK, that publish news from a local point of view. And there is as well an active audience for online hyperlocal media; although different studies report very different consumption figures. The growth of mobile devices is a key driver in increased frequency of consumption.
According to the survey ”UK Hyperlocal Community News Findings from a survey of practitioners” the size of the audience concerning the single website is varying – but is relatively small: Only two producers claimed a monthly average of over 100,000 unique users, 33 reported claim between 10,000 and 100,000. The remaining 55 were below 10,000. Community news sites cover a wide variety of local news of civic and cultural value, including news about local community groups and events. Functional information about community events, local weather and traffic are the most popular content types.
What kind of topic does the audience want? Younger respondents (16-34 years) place a greater importance on information about restaurants, clubs and bars – and especially sports. While those aged 55 and over prefer news about local arts and cultural events
The UK community news sector is well-established and dominated by longtime projects (nearly three quarters oft he producers have been producing news for over three years). Advertising is the dominant form of income generation. And the future? Eight of ten publishers have ambitions to expand their sites. And the majority like to post more frequently.