We’re opening up the first hour of our October branch meeting for a discussion on making money from hyperlocal journalism, led by Rich Coulter, editor of the Filton Voice.
7.00pm, Thursday 15 October, Panel Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates, Oxford. Everyone is welcome.
In 2011 Rich Coulter, former assistant editor at the Bristol Post, co-founded the Filton Voice, an online and print hyperlocal news service serving a town seven miles outside Bristol with a population of 10,000.
Today, there are eight such titles, serving communities around the edges of Bristol. Many of these are led by people like Rich, who worked at the Post or on other local papers as reporters, subs or in sales. The journalists and photographers are paid, and the titles are turning a profit.
Speaking to the Press Gazette a couple of years ago, Rich Coulter said, “The Voice model is all about creating self-employment. We are trying to show journalists and entrepreneurs that there is profit in publishing if the model is correct”
Have they found the Holy Grail? A business model that makes quality local journalism pay, and contributes to local news gathering capacity, rather than undermining it by regurgitating stories and information filched from other sources?
What are the ingredients for success? Is there a catch? Could it work in our area?
Rich will be at our October branch meeting to tell the story of how the Voice model works, how it all started, and what they learnt along the way, and he will try to answer some of these questions, as part of a discussion about the implications for journalists and journalism in Oxfordshire.
We’re welcoming everyone with an interest to attend this part of the meeting and join the discussion.