The local news website (or ‘hyperlocal blog’ as we call it nowadays) that I edit has given me some joy this week. Firstly a comment came in that I thought summed up some nice community spirit; and secondly we got a story on the front page of the local newspaper, the Birmingham Mail.
The front cover thing first: so I saw a train come through Bournville station on Thursday November 4th at about 1.20pm. I realise what it is (I just know, okay, I have that kind of knowledge in me) and quickly grab a pic of it on the iPhone. I tweet it, as one would, but there’s not any kind of earth-shattering reaction in that rarefied world of twitter so I don’t think too much of it.
But over the weekend it’s apparent that a story about a nuclear train is timely. And timeliness is something my old journalism lecturer taught me was important in deciding if something is newsworthy.
So I blog the story on the Sunday, knowing that on Monday the mail trawl the local blogs for their communities pages on Tuesday. They’ll go big on this one, I think, presuming they’ll give it a couple of paragraphs. However, before I know it there’s a photographer taking ‘grumpy of Bournville‘ pictures and the following day we’re front page, continued on page three and in the communities pull-out as well.
Nice result and site traffic quadrupled.
That coment: given we don’t get a lot of comments on the blog I was most pleased to get one that summed up a bit of the community spirit I think Bournville possesses. This was in relation to the protest against a phone mast:
Well done to all who protested i was so proud for me and my children and for all the young people and children I work for as a youth and playworker in the Northfield area. And a very big thank you to MP Steve McCabe for all his hard work and for listening to the local people and their children well done. Well done also to the Birmingham mail for a great picture of all the families. Andrew Cartwright.
Yeah sure, the mast protest may well come across as a bit of nimbyism but people protesting in the street against an unwanted intervention by a multi-national corporation – that sounds exactly the sort of thing we should be celebrating.
Great work on this – I hope it shows there is some realistic prospect of bloggers working in partnership with the Mainstream media in the future (but then I would say that).
What I also like about this is that since you started the ball rolling the story gathered pace on Twitter and now another blogger from the communities group has provided a nice little follow up. Watch this space.
Keep up the good (trainspotting) work.