Hyperlocal blogs are a great way for student journalists to get some experience of reporting, community management and online publishing. But what do their potential readers think of student-run hyperlocal blogs? Members of a community in Sheffield recently gave student bloggers a very hard time when they attempted to engage with their potential readership.
The problem seems to stem from the fact that there are two universities in Sheffield, plus a very good further education college, and therefore a lot of students working on community-based projects. Not only do you have journalism students working on community-based projects, you have film makers, geography students, law students and nursing students. At any one time there must be hundreds of students making contact with community groups and local online forums.
Now, there are of course some fabulous examples of students who have done fantastic things for a community as part of their course or with a student society. There are law students who have helped to challenge wrongful convictions as part of the Innocence Network and there are many other fantastic examples of where student projects have been a force for good. Continue reading