David Higgerson, Trinity Mirror regionals' head of multi-media, offered hyperlocal websites an olive branch today, suggesting they and the local press can work together.
Higgerson, speaking at the Value of Journalism conference at the LSE in London, admitted that in the past some local press journalists had been antagonistic to hyperlocal sites because they didn't like competition and they thought the hyper-local sites in some way devalued journalism.
But he said that Trinity's Birmingham Mail and its daily in Middlesbrough had built good relations with hyperlocal sites.
Higgerson suggested with regional newspapers centralising a "greater collaboration" between them and hyperlocal sites could be mutually beneficial.
He said local papers could use their greater resources to investigate tip-offs from hyperlocals; strike content sharing agreements with them; and syndicate stories that are currently being lifted without payment from hyperlocals by the mainstream media.
"At the most basic level we can start supporting each other by linking to each other on our websites," he said.
- David Higgerson has a post on his blog suggesting 10 ideas for hyperlocal sites.