A trio of regional newspaper men are hoping to turn their local news experience into a successful business with a new product for building websites.

David Pike, a freelancer and journalist, and Brian Clough, a former staff photographer, who both worked at the Northern Echo, and Dave Foster, a freelancer photographer and photojournalist, have launched Super Local Sites - a technology package aimed at out-of-work journalists looking to start their own site or those lacking digital skills.

The software aims to bridge skills used in print production with publishing online, by creating a simple content-management structure, built-in advertising options and the option for multimedia content to be uploaded, the site says.

The product is a version of that used for the site euVue.co.uk, which was launched in 2009 as a regional news magazine site, and euVueChester-Le-Street.co.uk, launched and managed by the trio this year. 

“Inevitably you have to conclude that the traditional local news scene is under threat. As we see it the answer is for regional journalism to reconnect with communities through super local newspaper websites. The euVue web format makes that achievable and affordable. We’ve kept the technical requirement to a minimum to allow journalists to concentrate on putting their skills to work and to run their own show," says Pike in a release.

"The euVue project delivers local news and information direct to a desktop and any mobile device. We have a news format that combines visual appeal with functionality. The result brings together the best traditions of newspaper and magazine journalism with the latest audio and online technology. We even have a weekly country music show on the site," said David.

The technology behind the sites will be licensed at a one-off cost of £1250.00 and £125.00 a month for a 12-month period after. Twenty licences have been offered at a reduced rate for the first users to sign up.

"We use the WordPress platform but have customised it to provide a distinctive news style delivery. It has additional functionality built in to help search engines find stories and maximise traffic," Pike told Journalism.co.uk. Interest is being shown by both regional news publishers and those looking to produce specialist interest websites, he added.

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