An industry body for hyperlocal news sites

Had an interesting email from the editor and founder of a hyperlocal news site this week. The independent site has been going for around two years and as such the editor wants to join an accredited industry body – but which and why?

It’s a business and a professionally run site, so a citizen journalism network/body wouldn’t suit; it doesn’t and has never had a print equivalent, so it’s interests aren’t really represented by bodies founded on those grounds.

It’s an ongoing conversation, but I did recommend looking about Talk About Local – while it’s a project not a trade body as such and works with sites being run for both journalistic and non-journalistic motivations – its establishing a network of independent sites that I think will become increasingly influential on the local and community media scenes.

But I’d be interested to know from other local news bloggers/journalists/independent news sites whether they’d like an official body to belong to? What would the benefits be, or is something already emerging that goes beyond traditional ideas of an accredited industry body?

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