#hyperbbcwm Notes (part 2) of a discussion between BBC staff and hyperlocal bloggers in the West Midlands

The first table was covering issues of controversy (how to deal with) accuracy and the news agenda – or the broader question of who news is it?   Nick Booth took these slightly sketchy notes

Diane Smith of Stafford Direct
Diane Smith of Stafford Direct

Diane Smith has used the social network Stafford Direct to starts to challenge the way the mainstream media was telling the Story of the enquiry into deaths at the local hospital. Below she explains what she ste out to do – why she felt the mainstream media was getting things so wrong and what keeps here going:

Ian Little of the Tenbury Wells blog said the reason he got into blogging was the town council was not very transparent with closed meetings – local paper would cover the council from one point of view, my stories tended to be from the opposite point of view.

Should stuff be edited or not?

Mike Rawlins of Pits and Pots in Stoke-on-Trent talked about how they can go through stages where they break loads of stories.  He talked about how they will run interviews unedited, rather than choosing a soundbite or even a particular line.  This prompted quite a discussion.

Oliver Evans of the  Silhilian wants things tight – journlaistic standards applied. Most people think the same think is interesting he said, although other argued that the web is niche and people dpo find the longer interview interesting.  It is also a matter of creating a record.

Interesting observation from Ciara Redman who works on Inside OUt and for some of their longer form programmes at the BBC. She noted that when they run longer interviews – near rushes online or on their sport programme the audience love them.  Thoughts of archive.

Pits and Pots gets 6000 unique visits and long interviews are popular.

Motives and is it journalism:

Ian Little – said his news values are now different.  The way I used write the story would have been with a headline and now I tend to give the information and let the reader decide.  Rcent story about town council up for election – some town councillors have missed 60% of meetings.   A form of data journalism. Councillors don’t say anything.

There are many big issues in communites that never get dealt with – because the story moves on,

Diane Smith mentions slow journalism –  which is really something akin to what she does on the hospital story – assembling facts, disentangling distortion  But with some much information being offered how do you help the reader ow do help them navigate .  Diane says she is very sympathetic to journalists. The hospital story is an enormously complicated story about a scientific issue that no one understood.

Diane isn’t after audience particularly or hits. She wants to put the record straight and help a community conenct.

Ian:  What I went in to sort out was financial transparency – we’re almost there. They are now publishing ina  meaninglful way – understood by human being.

We don’t care about audience, we care about changing things.

Throughout Matthew Eltringham of the BBC was one person asking questions along with Vanessa Pearce from BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.   They were particularly interested in motivations beyond audience.   Below Matthew Explains his reaction to the conversation: