Tag Archives: news

The BBC, Regional News and Sport, and Hyperlocal Blogs

This is the second in a pair of posts about my recent meeting with Robin Morley, the BBC‘s Social media lead for the English Regions. The first, “The BBC, Open Content and Wikipedia“, was published yesterday.

Many BBC regional news items currently have “From other news sites” sections, which link to reports of the same stories, from other news providers, including traditional newspapers and others. For example, this report of a happy outcome to missing child case from Smethwick has stories from the West Midlands Police, the Rugby Advertiser, Manchester (!) Wired, Huffington Post UK and the Birmingham Mail:

Screenshot of the 'From other news sites' section of the news story linked to above

However, these sections don’t yet include hyperlocal blogs. Indeed, the BBC say:

In general, our rules tend to give greater weight to national and international sources over regional or local ones.

At my suggestion, Robin has graciously agreed to consider requests from reputable hyperlocal websites, to have links to their news stories included in such sections. This, if I say so myself, is a major coup for hyperlocal blogging.

Interested hyperlocal bloggers (in England only, for now, as that’s the extent of Robin’s remit) are therefore invited to submit details of their blog, with links to a couple of their recent news stories, including original content (no churnalism, please) in a comment below, for consideration by Robin. I must emphasise that, while he’s kindly agreed to consider including such links, no promises have been made. The emphasis is on news stories, not lobbying or party-political pieces. Submissions blatantly failing to meet these criteria will not be published here.

To start things off, here are two modest stories from my local blog, The B44 (disclosure: I wrote the first of them), covering parts of Great Barr and Kingstanding in that postcode district.

Do you write for a hyperlocal blog? What are your best news exclusives? It’s up to us to demonstrate to Robin and his colleagues that suitable content exists.

I’ll report back on the outcome.

Alan Sugar, Digby Jones and me, in the Daily Express

You’ll never see a nipple in the Daily Express according to .

But you can read about my new freelance career, thanks to reporter , whose article, “The Apprentice Proves that Britain Means Business“, is in both their on-line and paper editions, today. (You’ll notice that I’ve done the Daily Express the courtesy of linking to them, Like most mainstream newspaper sites, they don’t link to their subjects.)

Ros says of me:

This February it was revealed more than 4,000 Birmingham City Council jobs were being axed over the next three years to save £300million. Andy Mabbett was one of those who opted for voluntary redundancy after 21 years working for the local authority, the past 17 of them as a website manager.

At the age of 47 he’s setting up on his own as a consultant in online community building. “I had offers of work even before I left,” he said. “I’m lucky to have good contacts, good experience and saleable skills. Although there are cutbacks everywhere there are still things that need to be done and so there’s a market for people who can do them.”

I never thought I’d be mentioned in the same article as or . They must be chuffed.