Enthusiastic crowd at hyperlocal event in Grangetown

By Emma Meese | 20th Jan 2016

We had a great turn out for our first public community news meeting in Grangetown, Cardiff, last night.

On a freezing Tuesday evening in January it’s always a worry whether anyone will venture out in the cold but it was heartwarming to see more than thirty people gather to discuss how they can get involved with their community news service.

The Centre for Community Journalism is committed to establishing, or working closely with, ten hyperlocals across Wales over a five year period. For our sixth project we have partnered with Grangetown News, which is based in a culturally diverse suburb of Cardiff.

Grangetown Community Action group has been publishing a community newsletter three times a year since 1977. The service is run by a handful of volunteers and is currently delivered to 6,500 of the 19,000 homes in the area. They also run an active Twitter feed and news website.

The team has a vision of reaching the whole community and bringing them valuable news, views and stories – but in order to do that they need more people.

The enthusiasm from those who turned up last night was contagious, with so many people saying: “I just want to get involved”. However, as we know only too well, enthusiasm and goodwill is not enough to run a community news site.

It also takes time, effort and a variety of skills. The latter we can help with and will be running a variety of free training courses in the area for anyone who wishes to participate. These will include Wordpress, filming and photography on smartphone, writing and social media sessions.

Since our partnership began the Grangetown News website has had a makeover and the spring edition of the newspaper will have a completely new look and feel.

A saying commonly heard in January is ‘out with the old, in with the new’, but in this instance we want to merge the old and new to create a valuable resource with a long future. And if last night is anything to go by, I am hopeful that we can make it work.




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