Hello? Helloooo? HELOOOO?
And so whose voice gets heard in hyperlocal?
One would hope that it is the local community, whoever that might be.
It's all about the people, isn't it?
Unit 2.5 of the #FLCommunityJourno course has Dr Andy Williams of Cardiff University addressing the content of hyperlocals and the people that get to put their view across.
“Some politicians fear that the loss of local media is leading to a ‘democratic deficit – where communities are no longer engaged in local politics or decision-making in their area.”
Or maybe it’s just that some politicians fear that their voice will no longer be heard, or at best be drowned out as local communities get to have an equal platform for redress.
A nice turn of phrase used by Andy is the "value viewed through the prism of democracy."
I think he means that if hyperlocal is going to offer any half-decent contribution to the local community then it is the chance to politely tell a politico where they might have got it wrong.
"Democracy enabling roles" are spoken of.
This is where we STORM the Town Hall, Comrades.
An extensive content analysis of 2,000 hyperlocal stories has been undertaken by Andy and his team. Some of the results are quite staggering.
The LOUDEST voice within hyperlocals comes from the politicos - 20.9% of all content was attributed to a politician putting forward their view.
Compare this with the 12.4% figure for members of the public.
Andy also observed that there was: “no disagreement - the plurality of voices is narrow.”
You don't want your hyperlocal to become a #localgov bitch-fest (nope - YOU REALLY DON'T WANT YOUR HYPERLOCAL TO BECOME....) but equally you don't want it become a sanitised love in with the careerist politicians either.
As ever, finding the compromise point is the difficult part.
A telling comment in the video is that mainstream news is becoming more regionalised. Your local paper is now subbed and published in a different town. Remove the content from the source and you lose a little of the love that goes into producing it in the first place.
Um... I wonder how long @ColchChronic will remain in hibernation?