Journalism is no longer the preserve of trained professionals working in the traditional media. The open access of the Internet, the rise of the blogosphere and the advent of social media has seen an exponential rise in citizen-based journalism. We have seen around the world the powerful role these networks play in the effective dissemination of information and opinion. This is journalism every bit as worthwhile as more established forms, and in Britain, where the decline of local newspapers has left a gap in the reporting of local affairs and regional politics, there is a clear need for initiatives to make up this deficit. Here at The Journalism Foundation, we would like to see a thousand flowers bloom. We believe that democracy is served by free and independent journalism, and with this in mind we are supporting Pits n Pots, a website in Stoke-in-Trent which monitors, discusses and challenges political matters in the region, and we are pleased to present this, our free online toolkit for anyone who wants to start up their own local news network. This guide is full of practical advice from experienced journalists and academics, and is the perfect guide for those who feel inspired to make a difference to their local community via a digital platform. From the practical tips from Mike Rawlins, the man behind Pits n Pots, to a discussion about what a free press really means by Daniel Finklestein, the executive editor of the Times, you will everything you need to go forth and create a website of your own. Go on. It’s all here for you to help yourself and serve the wider community.
How to build a local website
By Simon Kelner | Posted: March 27, 2012