Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Cardiff University has officially launched its Centre for Community Journalism, which will aim to bring together research, training and funding for hyperlocal journalism, both in Wales and across the UK.

The centre will provide both an online network and a physical training centre, where free courses will be run for new and established hyperlocals.

Opening the centre on Wednesday 16 January, Justin Lewis, head of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, warned of a dilution of content.

He said "there is a danger that in the future we could find news on good quality platforms but with poor content".

"The centre is here for encouragement, support, but most importantly a need for networking.

"Our vision is to be part of creating sustainable models of local journalism. In a few years' time we want people to know more about what is going on around them, and we want more people being paid for doing journalism.

"Only by working together can we begin to achieve those goals."

Emma Meese, manager of the new Centre for Community Journalism, thinks it is essential that small news sites begin to work together, and "by starting to talk to each other we can learn from each other, including business models and pooling together resources".

"The website will serve as a portal where we are going to be offering free training and support to as many hyperlocal sites and journalists as possible.

"We are also going to be running a physical centre where we can put on training courses."

The centre will be run on a not-for-profit basis, as any income revenue will go towards providing free courses.

Richard Sambrook, director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University, said "the centre will be subsidised by corporate training and other sources of revenue".

Meese added: "All the money will go back into developing and subsidising the centre".

"We have set up a network map of hyperlocals, which we encourage people to sign up to. This will be a way of both finding other people but also directing people to news providers.

"The centre will be one of only places in the world offering research and practice at the same time to the extent we are. It will be a safe, private and protected space for people to have conversations with each other relating to hyperlocalism."

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