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Digital Journal Reports

article imageEditor talks about success of hyperlocal news site Special

Welshpool - Last year two former journalists, Graham Breeze and David Williams, teamed up together to set up their own hyperlocal news site which serves the Welshpool area.
Graham Breeze had previously worked at NWN Media. David Williams was a journalist at the Powys County Times and also works in public relations. Between them they have nearly 60 years experience in the industry and it was on August 13, 2010, that the My Welshpool website was launched.
The free news site covers everything from local business to sport. The site has nearly 6,000 visitors a week and more than 110,000 hits every month.
Facebook followers are steadily growing as well with nearly 2000 friends now following My Welshpool.
Their sister site, My Newtown, has also been a success. In February, visitors to the website grew by 25%.
As Breeze explained: "We are taking the news that people want to them rather than them having to go looking for it. We are now setting up the same process for the Newtown site."
In an email, Graham Breeze explained how My Welshpool got established:
"We approached all agencies such as councils, police, fire and ambulance and were warmly welcomed all round to create regular news streams and used a lot of local knowledge and contacts - nothing better as these are local sites and Welshpool and Newtown are the towns we know best."
The news section of mywelshpool.co.uk
The news section of mywelshpool.co.uk
image:85305:0::0
Talking about the success of the site, he said:
"The success is because we are giving people just what they want and instantly and in exactly the form they want it. There's no in-depth articles or opinion. We are getting the facts to the people wherever they are by using technology."
"The dilemma for weekly newspapers is that they are just what it says on the tin - weekly. The area is covered by excellent weekly and daily newspapers but we are able to send breaking news to people via their Facebook accounts as it happens - and they love it."
"Our in-boxes are growing on a daily basis as more and more people and organisations see the benefits."
"We respond around the clock and are happy to put out warnings for the police, fire and ambulance teams as events happen on our patch. Most of all it's great fun."
Talking about future plans for the site and advertising revenues,Breeze said:
"The public is responding to the concept of hyperlocal news service and we have plans to expand and will be looking for partners to help us take the concept much further."
"Advertising revenues are growing as the public responds. We are employing a representative and are finding that the concept is being favourably received as news of the sites spreads."
The success of My Welshpool looks set to continue. On the website it is detailed how the site has gone from "strength to strength" and that the news site has recently "welcomed a record number of visitors."
article:304718:13::0
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