The Guardian announced today that it is "winding down" its local project of beatbloggers based in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Leeds, claiming they are no longer sustainable in their present form.
The Guardian launched the project in February last year, recruiting John Baron (Leeds), Hannah Waldram (Cardiff), and Michael MacLeod (Edinburgh) in the role of beatbloggers, defined by the Guardian as people who would cover a city with particular attention to council activities and citizenship. Regional blogs and network expert Sarah Hartley was launch editor.
A posting on the Inside Guardian.co.uk blog says: "The Local project has always been experimental in both concept and implementation. We've learned a lot from the beatbloggers, under the expert guidance of Sarah Hartley. We have also learned from the local communities who got involved with telling their stories. And using this we have continually refined our approach over the past year.
"So over the next month or so, we're going to be winding down the Cardiff, Leeds and Edinburgh blogs and retiring the local project. Don't worry – nothing's going to vanish or stop suddenly, and we're going to integrate communities and topics into our wider site coverage wherever possible."
- Fantastic support for the work of the beatbloggers and their sites in comments on Guardian announcement.