South Leeds Life celebrated a year of progress, elected a new committee and heard how it was now an important part of the media ecosystem in Leeds.
Richard Horsman from Leeds Trinity University spoke at the group’s annual general meeting (AGM) about the changing media scene. He contrasted the days of monolithic media in the 1970s to today’s world where traditional newsrooms are understaffed and the internet makes news instantly available.
“No-one else knows your patch of LS10 and LS11 like you do. Radio Leeds can’t match your local knowledge because they have to cover the whole of West Yorkshire” he said.
He argued that no matter how news is delivered, the basics of journalism remain the same. “Get the facts: who, what, where, when, why; and remember that all stories are ultimately about people.” He said ‘big media’ like the BBC and the Yorkshire Evening Post and ‘hyperlocals’ like South Leeds Life need to work together in the future.
A review of the last year revealed readership levels of 10,000 visitors per month to the website. 960 articles have been posted by a team of 17 writers and a further 34 using the Community Reporters website. The newspaper, which is now available at community venues across the area, has been well received and plans are shaping up to publish it monthly from October this year.
Tributes were paid to Steve Williamson, the former Chair of the group, who tragically died in March 2014.
The meeting also elected a new Management Committee to take the organisation forward over the next year. They are:
- John Baron
- Ed Carlisle
- Bruce Davies
- Lucy Potter
- Rocio Torres
- Satty Virdee
- Noor Zaman