Damian Radcliffe, nations and communities manager at Ofcom, has conducted some very useful research into hyperlocal definitions and trends, available on Slideshare:
While independent news sites fall outside the Ofcom regulatory framework, he explained why local news consumption patterns matter to the body. There also some notes from April/May 2011 on his personal website here.
Damian spoke to participants of the Annenberg-Oxford summer institute last week. His presentation clearly identified the hyperlocal challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities. It left me thinking about hyperlocal regulatory and legal issues – something I’m keen to keep discussing on this blog (please do get in touch if there’s a specific topic or story you’d like covered: firstname.lastname@example.org).
As the An-Ox contingent arrived at Ofcom’s office in South London, we witnessed Simon Hughes MP getting ready to present a letter to Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards – asking the regulator to investigate whether News Corp is “fit and proper” to take over BSkyB in light of the most recent phone hacking allegations involving News of the World. Appropriately, the hyperlocal news site SE1 was quick off the mark reporting that event.
Hughes’ letter can be read at this link.