The fifth week of the community journalism course was also the final one. It offered a good round up of the previous weeks and plenty of practical advice for those who want to jump straight into getting their hyperlocal/community site up and running.
At the start of this week’s course material we looked at how we could judge the success of a hyperlocal site. Measures of success we have been thinking about a lot at Bluegg recently, in relation to client websites and how we can evaluate the impact they have post-launch.
Ten measures were highlighted here, though they lose context outside of the additional lesson info:
- Traffic – most obvious, not the only way to determine how you’re doing
- Coverage gaps/depth of content – providing something nobody else is
- Holding Local Authority to account- coverage of local elections
- Unique access to local people/voices
- Local campaigns
- New career and spin offs
- Creating a sense of community
- Promoting civic engagement
- Historic value
This was then given added relevance with a carefully selected case study.
The practical advice offered next concerned business models. This meant anyone wanting to start a community focused site could ask themselves a few questions to figure out how best to manage it. Things to consider included single vs. team? Do you want to make an income? Is it for personal benefit or benefit of others?
We were talked through the options and business plans with links to additional resources. Very handy.
The next session was a real refresher of my main Journalism degree – law and ethics for content publishers. This covered several essential topics:
- court reporting
- free press
- best practice
I was so pleased that this information was covered so people wouldn’t get caught out.
The final part of the course was a series of questions to test our knowledge of the entire course. I scored 26/30 which I am pretty chuffed with.
No rest for the wicked though. My next FutureLearn course has already started: Managing People.
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