About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: January 2012
Based: Leeds, Yorkshire
Website: www.thecitytalking.com
Twitter: @thecitytalking
Category: Media, Architecture and the Arts

The City Talking is a media platform designed to reach and engage a young Leeds audience. It began as a Facebook page and is now a successful and dynamic newspaper that reaches 25 per cent of under-35s in the city.

Hebe Media noticed that local newspapers, and therefore local voices, had been disappearing over the years so set up a Facebook page to engage young people and try to reverse the trend. That page, now with more than 50,000 likes, became the springboard for the local newspaper The City Talking.

With more than 16 monthly issues published and distributed online, on mobile and in print, and a new partnership with the Yorkshire Evening Post, The City Talking is creating and sharing news and views about life in Leeds while taking innovation in media to the next level.

The publication is a leading light in engaging with a young, local audience focusing on fashion, music, culture and lifestyle content. The platform has also played host to special projects, such as Leeds Digital Fashion Week.

It was recognised by Nesta’s Destination Local in 2012, a programme designed to support the next generation of hyperlocal media services. As part of the scheme, the service launched a dedicated website and mobile news service.

The team are now also penetrating local data sets to understand local information and create new Leeds-based content and visualisations. The City Talking sees an opportunity for data scientists and storytellers to play together and see what comes out in the wash.