The initiative is is part of Associated Northcliffe Digital’s strategy to develop a network of local sites, managed centrally and given the same, cloned design template. Each site has a “community publisher” – Rosie Watts is the woman in the hotseat in stokenewingtonpeople – but receives technical and commercial support from Associated Northcliffe Digital group HQ. There are now 62 sites around England – including Dalston and Finsbury Park in our area.
It means there’s a plethora of different websites in Stoke Newington: but this is clearly the best-resourced so far, and the first with a commercial focus.
An interesting new development in our diffuse but energetic online local media scene. For Matt's thoughts on the newcomer read on.
"Not every journalist makes a good blogger, and certainly not every blogger makes a good journalist...But I know if I were at a local paper, I’d like to be engaging with people who can shape my paper, buy my paper, engage with my paper, produce ways to make my paper more profitable, and ultimately help gather news for the paper."
And he'd invoice any paper that lifted whole chunks of material from his blog. Now there's a thought.
"Local newspapers under pressure from falling circulation and declining ad income face a new threat from the local councils they rely on for much of their advertising. Two London boroughs – Greenwich and Hammersmith & Fulham – have decided to boost the frequency of their own publications by going weekly and fortnightly respectively, and turning former information sheets into slick competitors containing much of the TV, sport and local news expected from a traditional weekly. Lambeth, another inner London borough, took its monthly Lambeth Life magazine fortnightly earlier this year. Council magazines in Hackney, Waltham Forest and Havering have also gone fortnightly."
All this, and the best the Hackney Gazette can do is get snotty about bloggers. Incidentally, its front page story this week is about former Boris Johnson deputy Ray Lewis and his governorship at the Petchey Academy. Where would our local rag be without me?