138,309 hyperlocal news stories

Local News twitter

Last year, as part of my work on the Creative Citizens project, I set up a twitter account to keep track of news stories that were coming out of hyperlocal news websites. I had a hunch that if you counted the collective output of such sites the figures would be moderately impressive.

My hunch was right and the statistic of ‘one story every two minutes’ piqued the interest, to varying extents, of the BBC, Nesta and Ofcom. I’ve just had published a journal article (online, open access) that draws on the data I produced. Research colleagues of mine have produced a content analysis of some of the stories.

All I wanted to use this short post to do was point out that the @alllocalnews Twitter account I used has now come to the end of its life. It was ‘powered’ by a bundle of RSS feeds that were run through Google Reader. This bundle had its own RSS feed that then triggered an ifttt.com recipe, pushing an update to Twitter.

The death of Google Reader means the updates have stopped. No doubt I could use any number of services to restart it but I don’t really have a research reason to do so right now and none seem to easily facilitate ‘bundling’ in the way that Google Reader did. I have re-run my ‘counting’ for 2013 and I will shortly publish some new stats about the volume of news stories published by hyperlocals one year on from the original ‘count’.

So, during its life, 25 March 2012 until 2 July 2013, the @alllocalnews Twitter account published 138,309 hyperlocal news stories. That’s about 300 per day, 12 per hour. Not bad I think. I would say that figure is way less than the number of stories produced by the local press but perhaps way more than might be produced by the forthcoming crop ofLocal TV stations

You can access the @alllocalnews archive as a searchable web page or download a .csv file of all the tweets.