Five hyperlocal news websites have received £10,000 each as part of a new funding project.
The Port Talbot Magnet in South Wales, Your Thurrock in Essex, the Brixton Blog in London, Whale Arts in Edinburgh, and Cybermoor in Cumbria, each received the grant from the Carnegie Trust.
They were chosen from nearly 80 applicants across the UK and Ireland to become a Carnegie Partner in the ‘Neighbourhood News’ initiative.
In exchange for £10,000, the organisations are required to be externally evaluated so that others can learn from their models.
The Port Talbot Magnet, which recently announced plans to launch a print edition, was founded in 2011 following the closure of the town’s local newspaper, the Port Talbot Guardian.
Your Thurrock, meanwhile, was founded in 2008 and claims to attract 150,000 views a month with 50,000 unique viewers recorded in March.
The Brixton Blog, operating under Brixton Media, was founded in 2010 and last year launched a monthly newspaper, the Brixton Bugle.
Whale Arts was founded as a community regeneration project in 1992 and is currently plotting a hyperlocal news website, while Cybermoor was launched in 2003.
Carnegie’s senior policy officer Douglas White said: “The way we consume our news has changed hugely in recent years. Much of the content we now access comes from online sources, including online newspapers, Twitter and Facebook, while traditional sources of news have been under pressure. We are concerned that the supply of local news is particularly under threat.
“If people can’t access news about their local area then this creates a dangerous democratic deficit. The Neighbourhood News project was established to help test new models of delivering local news to meet demand.
“We received some fantastic applications from projects where local groups are producing great news outlets and creating a real sense of belonging for communities.
“We are delighted to be supporting all of our winners, and look forward to working alongside them to help make their vision a reality.”