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Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ) researches into this area of journalism and offers networking, information and training for hyperlocal and community journalists building on expertise developed at the leading School of Journalism, Media and Culture.
The University’s Centre for Community Journalism is part of the Transforming Communities engagement projects that demonstrate the University’s commitment to the communities of Cardiff, Wales and beyond. As one of the Vice Chancellor’s flagship Engagement Projects the Centre supports the development of community news hubs in Wales as well as offering advice and guidance for hyper locals in the UK and around the world. Since being set up in 2013, we have already trained thousands of learners both on and offline.
We support new forms of local digital journalism and we are exploring new, sustainable models for news. Our focus is at the local level; the place where journalism is most valued, but also most at risk.
C4CJ was founded because local journalism in the UK is facing a number of big challenges, such as:
- The rise of the internet, which has hit traditional business models of print journalism hard;
- Readership and advertising revenues in steady decline;
- Fewer opportunities for journalists because of cost cutting (leading to understaffed newspapers, or even to papers closing down); and
- Trust in journalism declining because of recent high-profile scandals shining light on the murkier end of the news industry.
The crisis in news industry has in many ways been felt most acutely at the local level where there are no economies of scale and smaller profit margins. In a country like Wales, with its high penetration of London-based news, this creates the potential for a serious democratic deficit.
At the Centre for Community Journalism we are acutely aware of these issues but we retain a belief in the value of good journalism. We want to do what we can to help shape the future of local news – a future that retains a spirit of idealism while addressing practical realities.
Our strategy has three elements:
- Training and outreach: we will provide a range of globally available learning materials and training though our website and other platform such as our Futurelearn MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). We will set up or improve 10 community new hubs in Wales between 2013 – 2018, giving them in-depth training and support to cover the news their community needs. We also provide training courses for hyperlocal journalists in Wales in the range of skills they need to work effectively. These include: news gathering techniques; awareness of legal and ethical frameworks; using digital platforms and social media; and developing community and content strategies. We will also develop our face to face training at affordable rates.
- Networking and advice: C4CJ is a focal point for sharing and disseminating advice and resources about the best practice in the field. We offer support and guidance to a network of thousands of community journalists around the world, and we are building a library of useful resources for community journalists on this website.We regularly gather and disseminate the latest thinking and insight to our network
- Research and monitoring: The School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is leading a major hyper-local news research project, funded by the AHRC. This allows C4CJ to map the world of hyperlocal journalism and understand what’s happening across Wales and beyond. This monitoring will allow us develop a new understanding of the field which can then feed back into the support we offer. We undertake other research and development to support the sector including recent work funded by React and by the Welsh Government.
Who we are
Emma manages the Centre for Community Journalism, giving community journalists access to the highest standard of training in digital and social media. Emma also speaks at a number of conferences and events, including the Social Media Conference for Wales.
Email Emma or call 02920 870 101
Communications and Project Officer
Matt leads on communications for the Centre for Community Journalism, sharing best practice through its website, social media channels and newsletter. This involves communicating with researchers, funders and stakeholders to promote the work of the Centre. Matt also manages the budget and project governance.
Email Matt or call 02920 688 750
Cheryl administers the day-to-day work of the Centre for Community Journalism, including raising invoices and managing team calendars. Cheryl works two days per week, usually Tuesday and Thursday.
Email Cheryl or call 029 208 70101
The Centre for Community Journalism is supported and advised by a range of people in Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, including Professor Justin Lewis, Professor Richard Sambrook and Dr Andy Williams. Special thanks to Sara Moseley, now Director of Mind Cymru, who acted as academic lead on the project from 2013-2015.
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