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November 1, 2013

Local Johnston Press newspaper set to relaunch with up to 75 percent user-generated content

By Ilse Bruijn

Regional Publisher Johnston Press is set to re-launch one of its titles to incorporate up to 75 percent user-generated content from local people.

Newspaper the Local from Bourne, Lincolnshire, is allegedly the first paper in the country to embark on such an initiative, nicknamed the “Bourne experiment.”

The newspaper is estimated to already include about 25 percent user-generated content.

Local people are invited to provide the newspaper with all sorts of content ranging from articles and photographs to reviews and recipes.

They will even receive a free training from the newspaper that allows them to upload their items from home.

The publishing company claims that the move is not about cost-cutting and that no reporters will lose their job.

“Our journalistic resource is precious and our reporters will still be out in the town covering the key stories and issues. What we hope this project will allow us to do is cast our net wider and include more community news written by our readers – and in some cases written directly on to the pages of the week’s newspaper,” said Mark Edwards, JP editorial director for the Midlands.

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"This project is all about bringing the local community together, offering them the chance to contribute to the paper the kind of material they and their friends and families want to read,"

The first reinvented Local is set to be published at the end of November. If the change proves successful more titles could be set to follow the same scheme in the future.

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