Empowering local news communities
14 January 2013
A new hub for community journalism in Wales will help steer the field towards a sustainable and innovative future, paving the way for the creation of jobs and informing the development of digital journalism.
The Centre for Community Journalism is the first of its kind to fuse world-leading research with practise-based learning. Established by the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, the Centre will draw on cutting-edge research from the School to inform real-time training for news communities.
Aiming to build and support a vibrant network of hyperlocal and community news in Wales, the Centre will share best practice with its members and identify a business model for growing and sustaining community news hubs. It will also offer courses and workshops delivered by industry experts which will reflect current news trends at a time when traditional journalism practices are changing.
Professor Richard Sambrook, who leads the initiative said: "The Centre for Community Journalism is one of a kind. There's currently nowhere in the world that unites both research and training to shape the emerging field of community and hyperlocal journalism. It's been a difficult time for journalism and the media recently, with the decline of local news outlets and the issues arising around media ethics. The industry has fundamentally changed. This new Centre will inform a more positive and sustainable future."
The Centre is being launched at the Community Journalism Conference (16 January 2013), which is bringing together experts in the field of social media and hyperlocal news platforms with journalism academics and industry leaders to explore the rapidly expanding area of community journalism.
Speakers at the event include Jan Schaffer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who leads J-Lab, one of America's most successful incubators for news entrepreneurs, Simon Milner, Director of Policy at Facebook UK and Damian Radcliffe, internet and hyperlocal media expert. The Minister of Education and Skills for Wales, Leighton Andrews, will also address the conference delegates.
Emma Meese, Centre Manager said: "The Community Journalism conference will examine emerging evidence and look at tools for the effective development of community news hubs. It's also the start of building an exciting and lively network of community news hubs – we encourage voluntary organisations, local news producers, bloggers and more to join the Centre and be part of the development of community journalism."