Value My News

September 11, 2019
John Mills

Value My News will deliver a suite of tools to enable hyperlocals to create and capture revenues in three new ways over two years: through the sharing economy by pooling resources, from new leads and sales, and by tracking where content has been used and not financially credited. Independent community and hyperlocal media form an integral part of the news ecosystem. Yet they struggle to find a sustainable revenue model.

So the focus is at the hyperlocal level: where journalism is most valued but also most at risk. We know that content produced at a grassroots level is valuable further up the news food chain, yet content producers do not always get a fair share of the revenue generated from their work. We will transform the sector by capturing revenues otherwise leaking through the supply chain. Value My News (VMN) will build sustainability by creating revenue streams and adding new revenue-informed KPIs. It will demonstrate a compelling new model with key learnings for other media systems elsewhere in Europe and deliver a white label product for market. The innovation lies in trialling an approach to pool content from UK hyperlocal publishers.

Value My News is a collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire’s Media Innovation Studio and lead partner the University of Cardiff’s Centre for Community Journalism. We will work to strengthen the hyperlocal publishers who are members of the newly formed Independent Community News Network (ICNN).

VMN will transform the sector by capturing revenues otherwise leaking through the supply chain.

It will build sustainability by creating revenue streams and by maximising the skills and expertise of the talented and dedicated pool of journalists working in the sector.

The funding announcement comes less than a year after C4CJ launched the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) – the first representative body of its kind dedicated to supporting the interests of community and hyperlocal news publishers in the UK.

Director of ICNN and project lead Emma Meese said: “Creating a platform that will help community and hyperlocal news publishers earn more money for the work they already produce has been a dream of ours for a long time.

“Our mission is to create more jobs for journalists at a local level and to ensure the quality of grassroots journalism in the UK is the best it can be.

“I’m delighted to lead on this project as it has the potential to change the future of local news.

Principal Investigator for Value My News at MIS, Clare Cook, said: “I am inspired and excited in equal measure to work on a project that is both innovative and impactful. This is about better understanding the lived experiences of hyperlocals and bringing about real change in their revenue models.”

Work on the project will begin immediately.

In 2015, Google launched the DNI Fund, a €150m commitment open to publishers of all sizes in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation. To date, the fund has reached €115m for innovation in news.

You don't have to share, but we would be happy if you did 😉