AN experimental approach to local news is about to be launched in Peterborough. The community-focused website Peterboroughmatters.co.uk will launch in spring 2020 and will be a joint venture between publishing company Archant and the Google News Initiative’s Local News Experiments project.
As one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, Peterborough was chosen to host the project because it has a very clear identity and it hasn’t had a daily newspaper since 2012.
Peterborough Matters is described by Archant as “an innovative blend of community-driven content, useful information and local advertising”. Alongside the hard news will be stories about local businesses, events that are happening in and around the city, and more personal pieces from within the local community.
Emily Hewett, Archant’s head of audience, said: “We want to try to get closer to the people of Peterborough than anything that’s been before. That means going back to the drawing board to rethink what local journalism means and how it is done and how it pays for itself. If we get it right, readers and advertisers will think Peterborough Matters isn’t just another local news brand, but a vibrant community platform that belongs to them.”
The project is being funded by Google, which will provide expertise, while the business will be fully owned and managed by Archant. Once Peterborough Matters has been launched, the team will choose at least two more communities to benefit from their own local websites.