When it comes to independent community news publications, they don't come more northerly than...
Community Engagement: Pobl Caerdydd and Beyond
By Jonathan Cable | 28th Oct 2013
Project Title: Community Engagement: Pobl Caerdydd and Beyond
The aim of this project is to take one of Cardiff’s hyperlocal websites, the Welsh language Pobl Caerdydd, and help them to develop their understanding of their existing and potential audience. As well as consulting with their existing and potential audience about what kind of content it is they would like to see from their hyperlocal community website. Before talking about how this will be achieved it is worth detailing the background to the project and giving you a little bit more information about Pobl Caerdydd.
In Cardiff there exists a Welsh speaking community of around 38,000 people, and they are mostly aged below 45. In terms of locally produced Welsh-language mainstream media there isn’t any, and this community is left to rely predominantly on Wales-wide sources of media such as S4C, BBC Cymru and Golwg 360.
The Welsh speakers of Cardiff also have a paper based, community news outlet named Y Dinesydd (The Citizen). The people behind Y Dinesydd in collaboration with staff at the Centre for Community Journalism came together to with the commitment and aim to produce content and this gave rise to Pobl Caerdydd. This new service was launched in the summer of 2013.
Due to the volunteer based workforce behind Pobl Caerdydd they have had little chance to carry out any in-depth structured research, beyond outreach sessions while the editorial board and contributors being developed into what existing and potential audience members want from the site. The very nature of the site is that as hyperlocal producers operating under serious time-constraints have to prioritise content generation over consulting and engaging with their audience/community.
About Pobl Caerdydd
The research is taking place in collaboration with Pobl Caerdydd who are the first in a proposed network of hyperlocal Welsh language sites. These sites aim is to support the newspaper-based community media group in the Welsh language that have existed in Wales since 1973.
To achieve its goals the project is going to be carrying out a series of semi-structured interviews with hyperlocal producers, journalists who are involved with hyperlocals, and community engagement managers from other sectors to generate insights into audiences. This includes how to best consult with them, building the community, encouraging participation in hyperlocals and ensuring hyperlocal sustainability. These insights are then fed into a survey of Pobl Caerdydd’s existing and potential audience to help the hyperlocal best understand their audience, who they are, and what content they like.
The data gathered from these two exercises will then be utilised to create two sets of outputs. The first is guidance specifically for Pobl Caerdydd to aid them to best capture, understand and act on audience data. As well as guidance on was to best continually engage with their audience and how to encourage the audience to move from audience members to hyperlocal contributors.
The second output is more about a generalised template which other hyperlocals will be able to use in consulting their communities about what they want from their hyperlocal. This will include an electronic guide to analysing audience data and further guidance on how to maintain a connection with the audience and again, encouraging people to contribute.
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