Guide to covering the General Election for community journalists

By Hannah Scarbrough | 26th Mar 2015

We’re delighted to launch the ‘Guide to covering the General Election for community journalists’, in partnership with Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre. It aims to provide hyperlocal journalists with skills, tips and advice on how to report on the forthcoming General Election in their communities.

The guide will examine how journalists can cover the General Election safely and effectively, and build engagement with their local community.

For many years the mainstream media has been an integral part of any election debate and participation, from presenting the latest party policies to broadcasting leader debates. However the emergence of community or hyperlocal journalism means that there is now a greater plurality of media voices holding politicians to account and informing the wider public.

This combined with confusion in Wales to some voters over what political institution has responsibility for what policy area (evidence suggests that 42% of people in Wales didn’t know the NHS was devolved), it is hoped that this guide will help rectify these issues.

The guide itself will provide information for hyperlocal journalists on:

  • Election engagement tools and ideas
  • Media law advice on covering elections
  • Political polling data dissemination
  • Information on devolved and non-devolved matters in relation to Wales
  • Details on candidates in Wales and how to contact them
  • Tools for selling their articles and sites to their communities

Commenting on the new guide, Emma Meese, Manager of the Centre for Community Journalism at Cardiff University said,

“We are delighted to team up with the Wales Governance Centre and other Cardiff University colleagues to produce a comprehensive guide to the General Election for community journalists here in Wales. Community journalists play an important role in our democracy, holding power to account and connecting local communities to their elected officials. We hope that this guide will empower community journalists to cover the General Election with confidence.”

Lleu Williams, Manager of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University added,

“With the most unpredictable general election in a century nearly upon us, it is essential that voters feel they are able to engage with the issues of the day. The way people are engaging with politics is changing. With many people now using different online sources to get news and information, the role of hyperlocals in reporting this election will be important. We hope this guide will be of great value to hyperlocal journalists participating in the first “digital” general election.”

We hope you find it useful!

Download the ‘Guide to covering the General Election for community journalists‘ or read below. You can also download the list of 2015 Candidates in Wales in excel format.

General Election Guide for Community Journalists

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