Students at the University of Glamorgan’s Atrium in Cardiff are working with communities in the city on a local website covering news, events, history and people’s stories. MyCardiff is a collaboration with a network of Communities First groups funded by the Beacon for Wales.
The Beacon for Wales encourages universities to engage with their local communities and this idea is at the heart of the MyCardiff project. Journalism and radio students have been allocated individual areas of the city to cover and community groups are receiving training and support in digital story-telling.
Diana Brand, Head of Media, Culture and Journalism at the Atrium says the MyCardiff project is an opportunity for students to experience ‘hyperlocal news’, which some see as the way forward. ‘Working closely with small communities encourages responsibility and responsiveness, which are key characteristics of a good journalist.’
MyCardiff doesn’t set out to compete with professional or commercial media. What it does is to tell very local stories which are interesting and important to local people, but which never get covered by big media. Both in Britain and the USA there’s a lot of interest in the potential of such sites.
Empowering people to tell their own stories is an important element of the MyCardiff project. Students are working with People’s Voice, an initiative run by an organisation called Plastic Buddha. Community members have been trained to use digital video cameras to tell their own stories.
Hywel George of People’s Voice says: ‘This is another approach to story-gathering. It’s unusual for journalists to use participatory engagement as a method of getting stories from communities. The beauty of this is that it empowers people to tell their own stories without the content being filtered by journalists.’
MyCardiff will be formally launched at the Atrium in Adam Street, Cardiff on Thursday 11 March (6pm).