The Guardian is looking to roll out a new scheme to encourage local journalism next year by using bloggers to report local news in Leeds, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
‘Guardian Local’ has been proposed because The Guardian fears “there is a risk that the decline of local news could allow corruption in public institutions to grow.”
Emily Bell, the director of digital development at Guardian News & Media, said: “Guardian Local is a small-scale experimental approach to local newsgathering. We are focusing on three politically engaged cities and we expect to launch in early 2010.”
Sarah Hartley, the Guardian local launch editor, said: “I’ve been impressed by the range and depth of coverage from local websites and blogs. This experimental project reflects both the shifting nature of journalism and the reality on the ground.”
A similar, publicly funded, scheme has already been proposed in the US, where public broadcaster NPR would have a series of radio and television stations covering local news around the country.
The Guardian reports that there is a possibility of this happening in the UK too, with subsidies being offered to the Press Association for reports on local councils and courts.