Sarah Hartley from the Manchester Evening News left a nice comment on my post about parking stories.
We’ve had exactly the same experience this week with a story about police parking.
More of a universal than parochial issue perhaps!
I especially like the headline on this story
I commented back that I wasn’t using parochial in a negative sense here. Perhaps its a better word than hyperlocal (please, god, anything must be better than that and its new bed fellow ‘reverse publishing’) to describe those things close to home but, as Sarah says, universal
Now, local newsapaper editors in particular no all too well that this is the kind of content that is ‘bread and butter’ for local coverage. But its always worth reminding people (and i count myself in this) that in the shiny world of digital the best stuff is often the closest and the most familiar.
It’s something I’m trying to find interesting ways of getting across to the students as the term local story fills them with dread. For them, in the words of the song – “nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all”.
So I thought about other areas that fit that bill. These aren’t necessarily magnets for multimedia – although it seems that they do lend themselves well to maps. But they are stories that generate a lot of interest.
- Parking – The MEN story woks well here. But there is obviously a wealth of info out there. Croydon council will let you report a parking violation using a map via their website – great info if you could get it.
- Traffic – parking may be tricky but spare a though for those trying to get moving. My local paper (at work anyway) the LEP loves traffic chaos, rant lines, roadworks and speed cameras. It’s all good stuff.
- Graffiti – have you seen graffiti? – in the US people sites like Bakersfield.com want to know. Their interactive graffiti map is great.
- Litter – Sites like the Halifax Courier naming their Top Ten Grot spots , and the myriad of letters to the editor prove a big draw.
- Potholes – It was the must have map of last year but it’s still a popular story. When they aren’t reporting graffiti, the residents of Bakersfield can report potholes. In the UK the Daventry Express uses Google maps to do the same (embed it in the site please.)Like the parking problem, others are on the case. Potholes.co.uk and fillthathole are two good example.
I can think of a few more but does anyone want suggest any more or better still suggest stories from their own publications that have got the comments rolling in?