As I’m sure many people are aware by now, the Guardian Leeds experiment is drawing to a close, and John Baron is moving to The Northerner. This isn’t a post about “but why?” or “those dastardly rotters!”, but about where to take it next, which sort-of began a couple of weeks ago at WePublish, and was explored again last night at Megan Waugh’s #AltMedia.
The meeting was to look at what people may want in some sort of gap-filling way to @GdnLeeds vanishing on Friday, and asking if an alternative newspaper in Leeds was feasible. Much interesting discussion was had, and at the end I was concerned that nothing was going to be done now.
I asked what was going to happen to the twitter account, was told it’d lapse. I posited that if the most popular articles on Guardian Leeds were the news aggregation posts, those that collected interesting blog and newspaper articles with a hyperlocal focus, then surely continuing to do those (with some sort of technical solution, the details of which were not relevant to this discussion), and posting them to twitter under the @GdnLeeds account, would be a decent interim solution whilst the AltMedia project tries to find its feet. I was asked who would do it.
Yes, I think you can see where this ended up.
So, pending approval from John’s bosses in That London, I want continue the “what’s going on in Leeds” posts, with blogs, newspaper stories, interesting curatorial points and the occasional rant. I don’t have time to do everything John did in the 16 months of sterling work he did for GdnLeeds (I’m not sure anybody would have) but at least I can make a start on it. It won’t be on the Guardian’s website (unless some sort of miracle happens) but it’s something worthwhile that needs to be continued. And hopefully, when the Alternative Media in Leeds project knows what it wants to do, there’ll be a place for the daily roundup posts there as well.
This will look prettier in days to come. Promise.