This report is the result of a collaboration between two different AHRC-funded projects: the Media, Community and the Creative Citizen project, based at Cardiff and Birmingham City Universities; and the Media Power and Plurality project, based at the University of Westminster. Although not originally planned as a joint enterprise, our combined resources have enabled us to produce the most comprehensive empirical analysis to date of the current practices, funding, staffing and outlooks of those who run hyperlocal sites.
Both projects will be producing more academic papers, citing the data here and exploring their implications in greater detail. We felt it important, however, given the volume and significance of original data, to provide a descriptive account of our findings. This report is therefore intended as an open access version available to practitioners, researchers and policy makers which we hope will help to inform policy debates alongside the more scholarly papers which will follow.
We are particularly grateful to William Perrin, Sarah Hartley and Michael Rawlins at Talk About Local for their invaluable assistance in providing access to their list of hyperlocal publishers, and for their knowledgeable input into devising the questionnaire. We would also like to thank Damian Radcliffe for his valuable comments on the draft questionnaire design and comments on the final report.
Our thanks, too, to all those recipients of our questionnaire who took the time and trouble to complete it and therefore enabled us to produce such a comprehensive assessment of the state of hyperlocal community news in the UK today.
Finally, we are grateful to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) whose funding of both projects has enabled this collaboration: The Media, Community and the Creative Citizen project was supported by the AHRC under its Connected Communities scheme (grant number AH/J005290/1). The Media Power and Plurality project was supported by the AHRC under its Fellowship Scheme (grant number AH/K002864/1).