My reading: Entrepreneurialism, news brands and council video

Here’s a roundup of some of the things I’ve been reading

Andy Dickinson takes a look at student journalism and entrepreneurialism and asks whether universities should be setting up their own sites for students. Are they ‘flattening or at the very least skewing the local media economy? Even a relatively small journalism school represents an effective staff far in excess of most local newsrooms’. Personally I disagree with Andy, I don’t think it sets up serious opposition to mainstream media (MSM) but I do believe that as MSM withdraws from its communities a big opportunity in publishing is by people setting up sites to cover niche topics (or communities) in depth.

Journalists have to get entrepreneurial says Kara Swisher of @allthingsD.

The Digital Editors Network  partnered with Martha Stone of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University to stage the first Big Ideas, Big Data conference in the UK earlier this month. Check out the live blog.

The Executive summary – Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2013 makes for an interesting read:

“News brands still matter but a strong name and long heritage is no longer enough. Our data show that there still is a yearning – in an ocean of content – for trusted news across a range of subject areas, but newer brands like Yahoo and the Huffington Post are also proving they can fill that role alongside a raft of specialist providers, blogs, and social media too.”

The folks at Talk About Local report on that Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has published a new guide for journalists and bloggers explaining how they can attend and report their local council meetings – and it explicitly states that councils should allow the public to film meetings. I’ve embedded the document below. Sarah Hartley has posted an update about the limits of Pickles’mandate.

Can local US TV news take on watchdog role? asks Variety.

“Google’s mission is to organise the world’s souls and make them universally accessible & useful (to the authorities)” via Wired. Agree or disagree? Thanks to @imran for the heads up on this.

@pkitano’s @TheBNN thinks it can fix #hyperlocal journalism with lots & lots of Twitter feeds.



  1. Hi. Thanks for the mention. I don’t think its the MSM that I’m concerned about as much as a local startup. In the end, any service that provides good news value to the local community is a good thing. But there is a good deal of discussion about the opportunities to individual news entrepreneurs in the hyperlocal market and I would hate to think that market of opportunity was flattened or, at worst, the MSM was simply replaced by the Unis. Still it was just pondering and the general feedback on the post seems to be that (in the context of msm withdrawal) there is a gap to be filled.


    1. Thanks Andy, you raise some interesting points there. I’m particularly interested in news start ups myself although there seem to be frustratingly few here in Leeds. Perhaps I need to pick up enough courage to take the plunge myself. I do know Blog Preston does some good work at your end. It’s right that there’s a gap to be filled and as MSM withdraws from local communities, I can only see that gap widening and the need for hyperlocal or alternative media increasing. Monetising startups, of course, is the big issue. I’m heading off to a meeting in Manchester in July about journalism co-ops which I’m hoping could be interesting.

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