Hyper growth being enjoyed by local newspaper website

A DOUBLE-digit growth rate, month-on-month, is being enjoyed by the website of a local newspaper.

Last month, there were some 50,000 unique visitors to a group of community websites under the umbrella of the site for Middlesbrough’s Gazette newspaper – representing a 25 per cent growth rate on the previous month.

Speaking at the Scottish Society of Editors’ conference on Friday, in Glasgow, Gazette editor, Darren Thwaites – who used to be assistant editor at the Aberdeen Evening Express – spoke of the postcode-based ‘hyper local’ sites to be found within www.gazettelive.co.uk.

He talked too of his paper’s close collaboration with the local university – so close that one has bought into the other’s premises. While the university assists with site design and functionality, the newspaper provides a vocational dimension for course leaders and students.

And within the website, there are to be found 160 bloggers, soon to be 200, their output unmoderated, but who are required first to agree to a code of conduct before their work can be published.