VIEWdigital through to next round of BBC reporter scheme

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VIEWdigital, along with 14 other community and hyperlocal news publishers, have successfully partnered with the BBC in a bid to receive local news content as part of the Local Democracy Reporter Scheme.

The first part of the £8m-per-year scheme, which aims to fund 150 local democracy reporters across the UK, opened in May and publications big and small from all over the UK applied.

The Centre for Community Journalism  in Cardiff understand that the second part of the scheme will open later this month and successful partners will be eligible to bid for funding to employ a Local Democracy Reporter.

Co-founder of VIEW Digital, Una Murphy said: “We put our hat in the ring because Brian Pelan and myself, the co-founders of VIEW like the idea of the BBC Local Reporters Democracy Scheme and believe it will help on our journey of independently producing and publishing social affairs journalism by providing original content to highly-professional standards for VIEW ezine and VIEWdigital news site.

“We will also be able to share our stories within a wider journalism ecosystem.

“I have worked for the BBC as a journalist and producer in Belfast, Cardiff and Dublin and know the exacting standards the organisation expects and we want to aspire to those professional standards of journalism with VIEW.”

Editor of the Lincolnite, Daniel Ionescu said: “Stonebow Media (the company that owns the Lincolnite and the Lincolnshire Reporter) has successfully bid for access to section one of the BBC’s Local News Partnerships scheme. We are looking forward to section two of the process, in what promises to be an exciting project.”

Keith Magnum, editor of the Hackney Citizen,  said: “Holding local councils to account is as important as it’s ever been. We hope the BBC Local Democracy Reporter scheme will help us bring an increasing number of in-depth political stories to our readers.”

And Rob Taylor, editor of Wrexham.com,  said: “We are pleased to have been accepted for Phase One of the scheme and look forward to the outputs. I just hope it is not used an excuse to cut staff or coverage elsewhere as the aim of the game surely should be an increase in oversight rather than shifting costs.

Editor of  West Leeds Dispatch, John Baron said: “Our interest revolved simply around being able to access any content around local council meetings – it seemed too good an opportunity for us to miss.”

Matthew Barraclough, editor of BBC Journalism Working Group, said: “The Local News Partnerships have been drawn up to be as inclusive as possible while at the same time requiring a commitment to high editorial standards. The partnership is open to any qualifying provider and we would encourage small independent news publishers to apply in the next round of approvals.”

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