About Us

The Centre for Community Journalism is part of Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

It developed out of our long history of high quality professional training and research, our commitment to local journalism, and our wish to support it in all its forms as it goes through major changes.

Committed to Communities

The University's Centre of Community Journalism is a flagship engagement project that delivers on the University's commitment to the communities of Cardiff, Wales and beyond. The Centre is aligned with the University’s Civic Mission by supporting the development of community news hubs in Wales as well as offering advice and guidance for hyperlocals in the UK and around the world. Our Making News Toolkit for schools project is part of Cardiff University’s wider key strategy to work with educational partners and all schools in Wales to support teachers to work towards improved educational attainment. Since being set up in 2013, the Centre has trained thousands of learners both on and offline.

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Supporting Local Journalism

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, hitting traditional business models of print journalism hard;
  • Readership and advertising revenues in steady decline;
  • Fewer opportunities for journalists because of cost cutting;
  • Trust in journalism declining because of recent high-profile scandals.

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.

A Clear Vision

Our Strategy Consist Of Three Core Elements

& Outreach

We provide training courses for hyperlocal journalists in the UK 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 also provide training to third party organisations like Welsh Government, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the National Education Union (NEU).

& Advice

C4CJ is the centre of excellence for sharing and disseminating advice and resources about the best practices in the field of independent community and hyperlocal news. 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.

& Monitoring

Cardiff University is ranked 2nd nationally for the impact of our research and we are among the top five universities in the UK for research excellence. The School of Journalism, Media and Culture is equally admired for its research, and this feeds into our work with practitioners and third party organisations, and helps determine our advocacy. This, in turn, feeds back into C4CJ and ICNN’s research creating a positive feedback loop.

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Meet The Team

Emma Meese

Centre Manager

Emma Meese is the Director of Community Journalism at Cardiff University. She set up and manages the Centre for Community Journalism and the Independent Community News Network. Emma is passionate about giving community journalists access to the highest standard of training in digital and social media. She works with news publishers, academics, governments, charities and businesses worldwide with the aim of strengthening and sustaining the community news sector. 

E | [email protected]

T | 029 2087 0101

Matt Abbott

Deputy Director

Matt leads on the strategic communications and engagement activities for the Centre for Community Journalism and the Independent Community News Network, sharing best practices through its website, social media channels, and newsletter. This involves communicating with researchers, funders and stakeholders to promote the work of the Centre. Matt previously worked as an editor at the UK's biggest news agency and has a passion for hyperlocal and local news.

E | [email protected]

T | 029 2068 8750

Cheryl Crook

Project Administrator

Cheryl ensures that the Centre for Community Journalism and the Independent Community News Network run like clockwork. She heads up all the day-to-day admin, and assists with organising events, especially our bi-annual conference, and project research. This includes raising invoices, processing expenses, placing orders, managing our ever-growing toolkit, arranging travel, and managing team calendars. Cheryl works two days per week, usually Monday and Tuesday.

E | [email protected]

T | 029 2087 0101

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Centre for Community Journalism