Guardian "Winding Down" and "Retiring" Edinburgh Local
For the last year, the Guardian has been running a hyper-local news site covering a range of issues in particular the nitty gritty of Edinburgh municipal affairs. Edinburgh was one of three cities targeted by the news behemoth - the other two being Leeds and Cardiff - for these experiments in localised content.
The mainstay of each of the sites was a beat-blogger (in Edinburgh it was Michael MacLeod who took over eight months ago from Guardian Edinburgh launch blogger Tom Allan).
The beat-blogger took more of an activist approach than your average journalist when covering issues such as the Climate Camp protest at the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ in Gogarburn, student fees sit-ins, the closure of Blindcraft, or the campaign to save The Forest, giving a strong sense of being engaged with the communities who had something at stake.
As well as inviting soap box type guest blogs, the daily beatblogger posts linked extensively to other Edinburgh news sources, incorporated Google map mash-ups, and built up an impressive archive of videos on its YouTube channel (albeit sometimes roughly recorded like the Councillor playing sudoku gotcha).
However, after logging an impressive 600 posts about daily affairs in Edinburgh, beatblogger MacLeod tweeted today that he is looking for new work and the Guardian announced that the local sites will not be continuing:
"As an experiment in covering local communities in a new way, it has been successful and enlightening. Unfortunately, while the blogs have found engaged local readerships and had good editorial impact, the project is not sustainable in its present form.
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."