Earlier this year, a new website called West Kirby Today launched.
Run by two highly experienced and talented journalists, former Liverpool Post and Welsh Daily Post editor Mark Thomas and ex-Liverpool Echo reporter Emma Gunby, the site focuses exclusively on the Wirral areas of West Kirby, Hoylake, Meols and Caldy.
It’s a great idea – covering news, features, events, jobs and weather purely in those areas, of interest solely to people living there or in the nearby vicinity.
So why hasn’t anybody done it before? The answer, of course, is that they have. There is nothing new under the sun.
Many years ago, every local newspaper worth its salt had a reporter based in each of its target areas whose job it was to report every piece of news on his or her “patch” – whether that be the butcher running off with the florist or the local amateur dramatics group putting on its latest production.
As newspaper sales have dropped off, newspaper owners have attempted to reduce costs by employing fewer such reporters – inevitably meaning that the news they would have brought to the paper has gone unreported. End result? Fewer people still buy the newspapers.
What sites like West Kirby Today show is that the appetite for super-local news – or hyper-local as the current jargon has it – is alive and well. People are just as interested now in hearing all the local gossip as they ever were.
But it’s not just about news. Business owners, community groups, charities, sports clubs – any organisation based in Wirral – would do well to make the most of West Kirby Today.
They’re not in the business of giving away free ads, although to advertise on the site is possible and reasonably priced. But ensuring that all local happenings and news are reported is good for them – and good for the organisations involved.
So make sure they’re aware of any local events you’re promoting, any new businesses starting and even any traffic issues you’re aware of.
Let’s turn it into into a must-visit site for anybody living and working in the area, and make sure it doesn’t go the same way as those local reporters of yesteryear.