Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Scots Journalists Launch A Local MySpace

By Roy Greenslade
The Guardian, UK
Tuesday December 19, 2006

Two enterprising and ambitious journalists with the Fife Herald - Adam Morris and Paul Breslin - have launched a MySpace page linked to their paper (circ. 13,590), which is based in the town of Cupar. In just a couple of weeks the site has recruited 400 friends and it is being used, says Morris, "as a tool to get younger folk to give us story tip offs." Two examples: a local lad took a £100 car to Italy and back; revelations of raves in "a secret bunker".

As Morris rightly notes: "It's a totally untapped market for local papers, and it opens up new lines of communication." It sounds like a very good idea, given the reluctance of young people to read papers of any kind. Will other local weeklies follow suit? They should certainly look at the site. This is the kind of initiative that can enhance newspaper brands as they cope with sales declines in the digital era.

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