The Journalism Foundation in the U.K. has published a guide to starting up a local news website, which includes chapters on basics both technical (“How to Use WordPress,” “How to Use Social Media”) and journalistic (“What Makes a Local Story? Or What Makes a Story Local?”). Contributors include high-end types at many of the top British news outlets. Here’s foundation CEO (and ex-Independent editor-in-chief) Simon Kelner:
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.
— Joshua Benton