The City Talking and Yorkshire Evening Post forge innovative partnership

By Hannah Scarbrough | 3rd Sep 2014

The City Talking, a multimedia news platform based in Leeds, has teamed up with its mainstream local newspaper, Yorkshire Evening Post, in an innovative partnership. The City Talking started its life as a Facebook page and is aimed at a younger audience base – with 80% of its readership 35 years old and under – and offers news through social media channels, a website and a monthly printed newspaper. The collaboration with Yorkshire Evening Post will see the printed newspaper being distributed once a month alongside Yorkshire Evening Post, increasing their total distribution from 10,000 to 25,000.

Lee Hicken, who runs The City Talking as part of Hebe Media, has said: “We have a really flexible approach to where we take The City Talking which means we are always thinking of different ways to take our stories to new audiences. Helen Oldham (Johnston Press) and I have been talking for a while about the two newspapers and how they could work together. In the end we decided that this was a really cool way to do it. We also have a young audience in the city and reach (and are part of) many of its ‘subcultures’ so we will bring that audience with us to the YEP.”

This need to reach a younger audience seems to be a priority for the Yorkshire Evening Post. Helen Oldham, Managing Director of Johnston Press in Yorkshire, has been quoted by Journalism.co.uk as saying that they hope the partnership will help them “reach a slightly younger and a slightly hipper audience than we’re currently reaching”.

Lee says that the partnership will not change the way  The City Talking works or its culture, stating that “the team we have assembled at The City Talking are brilliant at what they do – feature led, beautifully shot and designed content. We will continue to work that way and bring that to a new audience with this partnership.”

And what is Lee’s advice for hyperlocal projects wanting to forge partnerships in the future? “I think any media producer these days needs to be open to new ideas and partnerships and each ‘hyperlocal’ project will need to find partnerships and ways of working that suit them individually. Our partnership with the YEP is in its infancy but a we are already learning from one another and will hopefully deliver something great for the people of our city.”

Congratulations to The City Talking and Yorkshire Evening Post – we look forward to seeing how this partnership progresses and whether it inspires others across the UK.

What do you think of the partnership? Has your community news project engaged with your local newspaper? What was the result? Let us know by tweeting @C4CJ.

Image accompanying this article is copyright The City Talking.

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