Steve Dyson in his blog reviewing the local press, hosted by HoldtheFrontPage, digs up an interesting angle today about how students from the Leicester Centre for Journalism at De Montfort University are helping put hyper-local news into the Leicester Mercury. Dyson notes the journalism students, like many on similar courses, are each given patches across the town and work in teams to produce real stories each week. But at Leicester, not only do they produce these on double-page spreads as coursework; they also contribute them to www.citizenseye.org, a community news website. Cititzenseye is run by John Coster to "enable community people in Leicester and Leicestershire to become 'Citizen Reporters', providing a professional media outlet for community groups to promote their events". Dyson says: "Citizenseye is so well-established that it has a relationship with the Leicester Mercury that is strong enough to warrant actual desks in the newsroom, and the best stories gathered by the website are then used in the newspaper. This includes any cracking tales from students at Leicester's Centre for Journalism." The close relationship between the paper and the college pays off with many of the De Montfort University journalism students going on to work for the Mercury.
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
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