Guardian Appoints New Edinburgh 'Beatblogger'

The Guardian newspaper has appointed a new journalist to take charge of its Edinburgh-based blog.

Michael MacLeod is set to take the reins three weeks from today following the departure last month of Tom Allan, the newspaper’s first ‘beatblogger’ for the city.

A resident of Edinburgh, MacLeod spent three years with Forth Independent Newspapers, during which he helped to land Stirling’s Allanwater News a Newspaper Society award in its first year.

The Edinburgh Telford College graduate, who also enjoyed a two-year stint at the capital's Deadline Press and Picture Agency, is quoted on The Guardian website, saying: “The Guardian Local project is a brilliant opportunity, not only for me as a journalist, but for everyone in Edinburgh to get involved with.

“There is a huge potential for local democracy to be sparked into life via the blog and I aim to ensure everybody in the city is kept bang up-to-date with what's going on and how they can contribute to decisions which could directly affect them.

“Working as a beatblogger will give me the freedom to tap into other areas and issues Edinburgh residents care about.

“I already have a good working relationship with the likes of the council, police, artists and the business community.

“I am excited to start sowing new seeds with individuals, groups and campaigners who are looking for an outlet to be heard, in an online community which I hope will become essential reading for everyone from political decision makers to my own neighbours.”

Launched earlier this year to provide a focus on grassroots community journalism, the Guardian Local initiative has been rolled out in Leeds and Cardiff also.