Community Journalism

It is widely acknowledged that a vibrant, comprehensive and independent media is an essential component of a healthy democratic society.

It is particularly important in Wales where devolution is leading to new and different ways of doing things and where the UK national media, often covering stories which do not apply in Wales, predominate. Against this background, it is essential for understanding, engagement and participation that citizens get news and information about their own communities and are able to play a part in creating and influencing content and comment.

Centre for Community Journalism logo

There is tremendous potential for transforming the landscape of local news and for becoming part of the fabric of life here in Wales. Our School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, so long at the forefront of research and professional teaching, is well placed to understand and support these changes. The Centre for Community Journalism was established to work alongside community news ventures transferring skills, conducting research, and offering networking, information and support.

The advent of low-cost digital technologies and failure of traditional business models means that in many areas local and regional newspapers are in decline or have closed altogether. However, the appetite remains for news and for sustaining community connections. We are seeing the emergence of hyperlocal news, often created using low-cost digital platforms and powered by people who are embedded in and care about their community.

Project aims

Over the five years of this project we will:

  • work in depth within at least ten communities throughout Wales to create or improve community news in English and Welsh
  • develop and deliver specialist face-to-face training and digital interactive resources
  • work in partnership with key organisations in Wales and within the University to meet need
  • create online teaching with international impact
  • develop and support a wide network of community journalists
  • conduct research into and publish learning on this area.

Our achievements

It is clear that there is tremendous demand in Wales and beyond for the support we offer. To date, we have:

  • worked with the Welsh-speaking community in Cardiff to create Pobl Caerdydd, the capital's first news and information service in Welsh
  • established Rhondda People with a dedicated and vibrant local team
  • set up Llais Y Maes, an alternative digital news and magazine service run by our students, in a three-year partnership with the National Eisteddfod
  • delivered a MOOC (massive open online course) with FutureLearn on Community Journalism to nearly 9,000 people in 113 countries
  • created a Community Journalism web resource with regular updates and guides, along with a network of 244 community news hubs.

Contact

Emma Meese, Centre Manager

Hannah Scarbrough, Communications and Project Officer