Hannah Waldram, a journalism graduate who grew up in Bournville, Birmingham, has gone live with a hyperlocal site for her home town. Bournville Village provides ‘The latest news, pics and chat from the Cadbury community’, filling a gap currently left open by traditional media:
Bournville has no local newspaper and little going for it on the web – and tons of advertisers who would love to have their services published to the local community. Seems like a sure fire hit? Well it takes time and energy to set up – and it’s only little old me working on it at the mo – albeit with a web of friendly and supportive bloggers in Birmingham and plenty of other hyperlocal experts to take advice from.
However, Hannah has found the time to build up an insightful community blog. Bournville Village has not only given a local perspective to the story of gunshots in the traditionally peaceful village, which has received some coverage in the Birmingham Mail, but has also shed light on the smaller stories of concern to villagers, such as a pump installation in the Row Heath Park pond to save its fish.
Bournville Village has some quite useful aggregation, with RSS feeds of Twitter mentions and Flickr photos on the site to link villagers up to online activity about their area. Hannah is also working to take the pressure off ‘only little old me’ by building up a team of authors with different voices and views, and has already found a first recruit in the shape of Birmingham blogger Dave Harte.
….hyper-local, collaborative and aggregation seem to me to be key terms in the future of local journalism online. And I’m excited my home town Birmingham is pioneering such innovative and exceptional work.
Bournville Village is an interesting example of how traditional media training can be translated into creating an informative community site, and Hannah looks set to answer William Perrin’s question to site managers of ‘What would you do with a journalist?‘ by example.