Jump-starting the Next Generation of Hyperlocal Media

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Hyperlocal media

I contribute to a blog about news and views from my road. I also use the Internet to find out about local events, schools, services, and to get directions and even find out where I am through maps available online, as well as where my friend is, so we can meet in town. These are examples of ‘hyperlocal’ media focused on small geographic areas that define communities.

Hyper-local media is not a technological fix to all the issues surrounding the coverage of local news and information sources. However, the use of the internet and related social media to complement and inform local news and local institutions, should not be under-estimated. We continually find that the first place that Internet users go for information is the Internet, and this is also increasingly the case for ‘local information’.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Nesta have recently announced funding applications for projects designed to help stimulate and inform the development of the next generation hyperlocal media sector in the UK. A press release about the funding is available online at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/news_and_features/news/assets/features/1million_boost_to_develop_uk_hyperlocal_media_sector

Background information on the development and status of hyperlocal media in the UK is the subject of a very comprehensive report by Damian Radcliffe and his colleagues at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/about_us/assets/features/here_and_now_uk_hyperlocal_media_today ?Even if you are not intending to compete for this new funding, the report should be a valuable source of ideas on what people are doing in this space, and what you can do through hyperlocal media.

At a more general level, I wrote a report for The Joseph Rowntree Foundation that deals with the increasingly local significance of the global Internet. It is entitled ‘The Local Impact of the Global Internet’ and is available free on their Web site at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/local-impact-of-global-internet It is one of the more interesting paradoxes of this global network of networks: it is increasingly valuable for local information.

I’d like to hear your views about the potential of hyperlocal media?

Other links:

TSB: http://www.innovateuk.org/

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: http://www.jrf.org.uk/