In only two minutes leads can be seen to significant articles in the regional press, local blogs, NGO sites, local politicians’ sites, business news, sport, events, music, arts, council news, food and drink, traffic news, police, weather and UK news headlines. After browsing, the individual can click on the link to any item which is of interest.
How and where?
I timed this on The Brummie/Birmingham – a regional aggregator website.
The Brummie (or further afield the YamYam) has different editions specifically serving Birmingham, Coventry, Cannock, Dudley, Lichfield, Sandwell, Solihull, South Staffs, Tamworth, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The pioneering editor, journalist Mark Blackstock, explains that there are a number of national aggregators doing sport and business but he doesn’t know of any other sites which are selectively aggregating local news in a regional way:
“I believe most aggregation sites use robots to crawl through the internet to find websites with certain keywords (like Google does) whereas I manually seek out sites and put them on an ‘approved’ list, and so tend to get more focused links – but without an internet robot I may miss out on stuff I am simply not aware of.”
Readers in less-favoured parts of the country, all is not lost: consider setting up an aggregator for your own town, village, city or region.
Or if you have a particular cause at heart, for instance: food security, arms conversion, hydrogen transport or opposition to incinerators, the websites could be trawled, news aggregated and an overview presented.