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.
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.
“The Manchester Evening News and its sister titles have made a huge contribution to the fortunes of the Group for the best part of a century. GMG would like to pay tribute to all the staff for their hard work and achievement in a sector dealing with structural change as well as economic downturn.
“GMG is mandated to secure the future of the Guardian in perpetuity, and we have a strong portfolio which has to be in the right shape to achieve that goal. The Group board and the Scott Trust have made the decision to sell in light of these strategic objectives.”
At some point we have to recognise that change that is prompted from outside, that is funded by someone else, that delivers someone else’s policy goals or answers someone else’s questions is really unlikely to provide us with any hope of transformation.
At some point we have to recognise that for any real long-term success we have to start from where WE are, and work with what WE have got, and break this dangerous habit of relying on external ‘benevolence’.