BBC strengthens links with local publishers: A positive step for hyperlocal media
Last month the BBC announced its plans to roll out an improved method for linking to local news stories across the country. You may be thinking 'We’ve heard that all before', but this time it’s different.
‘Plans’ meaning the implementation of real, tangible activities, and ‘local news’ meaning content from both traditional newspaper groups as well as emerging hyperlocal publishers. We know it’s different, as Nesta and the Carnegie UK Trust have been working with the BBC and regional press groups as part of a local journalism working group for the past eight months.
What’s being done?
- Local Live project - The BBC is extending its Local Live news feed activity, by ‘linking out’ to not only local newspaper groups but also hyperlocal websites.
- Hashtag-linking project - A pilot is taking place where the BBC is linking to local publishers’ stories on Twitter via agreed hashtags.
- Statement of Intent - The BBC will be publishing a Statement of Intent as part of its commitment to support and build a positive working relationship with hyperlocal media publishers.
- Video content - A pilot is taking place in the North East for the BBC to share selected BBC video with local publishers.
- Local court reporting - The BBC and other representatives in the group believe there may be an opportunity to work with the Ministry of Justice to open up court listings online, and change the culture of the court system.
- BBC Royal Charter - In summer 2015, the BBC will look to open the consultation on the Royal Charter (the current Charter runs until December 2016), giving industry the opportunity to respond to the public purposes of the BBC and the duties of the Trust and the Executive Board.
What impact are we hoping for?
There are a number of objectives that we’re anticipating to achieve through strengthening our working relationship with the BBC.
- Influencing industry structure and policy change
Increasing recognition from industry.
- Increasing the hyperlocal value proposition
Increasing exposure and awareness of hyperlocal news and information to a wider audience.
- Sustained non-financial support
Providing support for hyperlocal publishers to build capacity.
- Reducing the democratic deficit in local communities
Surfacing established and emerging hyperlocal media providers, in turn closing the local information gap.