Just flippin do it – hyper-local journalism

24 11 2011

By Melanie Brown

‘Just flippin do it’ was the message from Philip John to a group of wannabe multi-media student hacks.

He’s not a Nike representative but a hyper-local journalist guru who is encouraging others to start their own media sites using niche or local content.

Philip who lives in the Midlands town of Lichfield started ‘Lichfield Live’ a popular local website.

He says he started the site in response to the slow pace of news reporting in traditional media in his local area.

He started tweeting local news and was soon gaining followers many of whom then started to send him their news.  He has 735 followers on twitter.
He stressed the importance of not just observing but getting out and about and meeting people camera and audio recorder in hand.  “Just flippin’ do it,” he told students from Brighton Journalist Works on both the MA in Journalism and on the Fast-track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism courses.

Reassuringly, he said the costs of his work are low and described how some innovative thinking can bring in revenue.

He has already brought in over £1000 from advertising without really trying and also sells ‘Love Lichfield’ T-shirts.

He recommends connecting with other similar organizations as this can raise your profile with a wider audience, improve your own work and create new networking opportunities.

It seems that Philip is on the cutting edge of where technology and local media converge and he had lots of ideas for how start-up journalists could find resources.

We thought scrapers were for cleaning your car window but apparently ScraperWiki is offering a different way of pulling and presenting data from multiple sites.

For more information visit his site: www.philipjohn.co.uk




One response

25 11 2011
Philip John

Thanks for the write-up, it was great to talk to you all!

Just to clarify: the site was actually started by Ross Hawkes (http://twitter.com/rosshawkes) and I joined him soon after 🙂

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