Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

A new ebook for hyperlocal bloggers

Posted in 6x6 series, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on January 11, 2010

The numbers of excellent hyperlocal websites in the UK and the US bloomed in 2009, from The Lichfield Blog, Bournville Village, Kings Cross Environment and Pits n Pots in the UK; to CrossCut, Red Bank Green and the Ann Arbor Chronicle in the US.

But will they fill the void left by shrinking, or dying, local newspapers?

That is the challenge laid down to them; and if hyperlocal blogs and websites are to have any lasting resonance as a new way of doing news, they will have to live up that, and move beyond simply aggregating other content and hosting a listings site.

In other words, they must become newsgathering operations in themselves: finding stories, checking facts, holding powers to account and sharing the results with their community of readers.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a new ebook, out today, to help all hyperlocal bloggers big or small, young or old, get the news that matters to their community. It’s called…

Newsgathering For Hyperlocal Websites

What’s in it?

In 40 pages it covers everything from getting news from council agendas and press releases, finding out about crime, keeping on top of your local sport team and submitting Freedom of Information requests.

In it are the tools you’ll need to create a one-person newsroom, which gets all the important press releases and has all the important contacts. You’ll find out how to create and manage an effective news diary which means you rarely miss a big story.

I explain why you don’t need to pay for expensive news wires to get confirmation of big national news stories on your patch, and show you step-by-step how to submit an effective Freedom of Information request. The end of the book contains an appendix of templates you can print off and use to get started.

It’s based on my years as a local reporter, at times single-handedly managing a news desk which covered no fewer than three counties at once. I learned the hard way how to report on local news, and it’s all in Newsgathering For Hyperlocal Websites.

Click here to get a free peek at the contents (pdf)

Who should buy it?

This book is ideal for anyone who is setting up a hyperlocal website, or is thinking about it. All the information I have shared I have done so with a small hyperlocal outfit in mind: there is no other journalism guide book like it. Journalism students will find it a great simple breakdown of the newsgathering operation.

It is written chiefly for the British hyperlocal blogger, and although the terms will differ in other countries, the techniques are applicable in the US, Europe and beyond.

Who shouldn’t buy it?

If you’re a journalist with years of local newsgathering under your belt, you will probably know most of it already. However, if you are not used to covering a patch/beat single-handedly you will find the contents useful, no matter how long you’ve been in the trade.

How do I get it?

I’m publishing it with an awesome discounted price of £4.99 (~$8.00/EUR5.50). This will last for 7 days at which point it’ll go up to its normal price, so buy quick to get the good deal!

Click here to get your mitts on one!

Any feedback on the first edition will be much appreciated: I’ll bear everything in mind for future editions!

Update: hyperlocal blogger Philip John over at JournalLocal has reviewed the book.

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24 Responses

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  1. chris g said, on January 11, 2010 at 11:33 am

    You offering it as an affiliate incentive?

  2. [...] today, it’s well worth it’s introductory price tag so get it quick from Adam’s web site! Category: ReviewsTags: Adam Westbrook, e-book, news-gathering, Newsgathering for Hyperlocal [...]

  3. [...] journalist Adam Westbrook has today released a new ebook about hyperlocal newsgathering, drawing on his experiences as a local [...]

  4. [...] A new ebook for hyperlocal bloggers [...]

  5. Common Ground « Rosie Niven said, on January 11, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    [...] the meantime, I’ll be studying this e-book carefully. It was put together by Adam Westbrook, a multimedia journalist, whose blog I highly [...]

  6. how to ebooks said, on January 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    What do you mean by the term hyper local? I am sorry, but I am new to this word.

  7. adamwestbrook said, on January 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    @how to ebooks

    Hyperlocal refers to news websites or blogs which cover a very small area, just one town or even one village.

    Have a look at the links on the top of this article for examples. :)

  8. Dan WC said, on January 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I’m impressed. Thought you might be interested in a debate they had in Parliament this week on local papers and council propaganda rags (unless you’ve seen it already):

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2010-01-13a.266.1

  9. [...] Posted in 6×6 series, Journalism by adamwestbrook on January 16, 2010 As promised, the ebook Newsgathering For Hyperlocal Websites, will move up to it’s original price of £7.99/~$13.00 at midnight on Sunday [...]

  10. Buddy Sunier said, on January 25, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Hi – just a quick note to say thanks for this entry. Very interesting.

  11. [...] hyperlocal bloggers big or small, young or old, get the news that matters to their community” (you can get it here, and it’s worth the [...]

  12. FCarrasco said, on February 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    The best website to get ebooks and softwares is http://www.ebooksforcents.com

    I have been using it for more than six months and it is amazing!!!

  13. Strobl@gmail.com said, on February 8, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I highly recommend the Amazon Kindle as the top choice for ebook readers.

  14. ebookfree said, on February 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Share free ebooks, tutorials, games, software download, themes, scripts, etc…

  15. Geoffrey Race said, on February 23, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Great article, thanks!

  16. [...] My new ebook for hyperlocal websites is published [...]

  17. [...] was a healthy session on news gathering for hyperlocal in the afternoon – much of which is in Adam Westbrook’s book – and may be second nature to the traditional hack (see tips from Bucks Free Press journalist [...]

  18. Marie Chelle said, on May 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks,it’s really an interesting article. superb… for reading it, Nice article.

  19. Alan said, on June 17, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, then creating your own electronic book (“E-Book”) could be the answer to your dreams:

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  20. Alan said, on June 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    If you can answered yes to any of these questions, then creating your own electronic book (“E-Book”) could be the answer to your dreams:

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  21. [...] University. Hyperlocal websites are being talked a lot about at the moment – people such as Adam Westbrook and David Stone talk about the ideas behind local newsgathering and how to run these sites – [...]

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