STV websites network expands with launch of another ten

A NETWORK of hyper-local websites for Scottish towns, cities and communities has today launched another ten sites, to add to six already operating.

STV Local – run by STV – began as a pilot scheme in September, with a series of sites operating in North Lanarkshire. This new batch covers Aberdeen, Buckie, Elgin, Forres, Lossiemouth, Stonehaven, Cambuslang, East Kilbride, Hamilton and Rutherglen.

There are plans for further site launches, including Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Deeside.

Overall, STV Local has now launched 16 community sites in five local authority areas, covering nearly 25 per cent of the Scottish population.

Says the broadcaster, in a statement: “This is the next phase of STV’s ambitious roll-out plan, which will see its network of local sites rolled out across the whole of Scotland over the next 18 months.

“STV Local offers a wealth of information for local communities, including news, events listings, ratings and reviews, weather updates, traffic information and a business directory, as well as information from local public bodies, sports organisations, theatre groups, schools, religious groups, and other engaged community members.

“Local content contributors, such as community groups and local businesses, are encouraged to post their own news stories, announcements, pictures, reviews and listings, making STV Local a living interactive platform for users to inform, discover and share what’s going on in their community.”

The statement quotes Alistair Brown, head of digital at STV, saying: “The response from the North Lanarkshire pilot has been hugely positive, showing there is a real appetite for hyper-local content and an opportunity to share information, news and events on a very local level. Our editorial team is operating right at the heart of the community, working closely with local organisations, public bodies and other contributors to encourage them to engage with the sites. We are now building on the success of the pilot to launch STV Local in another ten communities, and we will continue to evolve and expand the service.”

The same statement also quotes STV chief executive, Rob Woodward, adding: “As Scotland’s digital media company we strive to make our content available whenever and wherever our audience wants it. This year alone we have launched the STV News iPhone app, STV HD and a content deal with YouTube, and we continue to build our digital presence with the ongoing roll-out of STV Local.”

The statement goes on to say: “STV is investing extensively in editorial content and has recruited a network of professional journalists and editors dedicated to STV Local, headed up by Executive Editor David Milne and Editor Iain Hepburn. Regional and community editors are being recruited throughout the country on an ongoing basis, providing employment opportunities across Scotland as the network of sites continues to expand.

“A comprehensive training and skills development programme is being delivered to the editorial team in partnership with National Union of Journalists, ensuring the highest quality of journalism and editorial content. STV will also provide workshops for content contributors in the communities, offering an opportunity for people across Scotland to develop and acquire new digital media skills.”

Each site, begins with the URL and is followed by one of the following: aberdeencity, buckie, elgin, forres, lossiemouth, stonehaven, cambuslang, eastkilbride, hamilton, rutherglen, airdrie, bellshill, coatbridge, motherwell or wishaw.