Adult social care, trees, devolution and elected Mayors – all stories dominating the headlines and ones which The Telegraph will be covering in more depth thanks to a new team of local democracy reporters.
Known as LDRs, we’re part of a groundbreaking initiative between major newspaper groups and the BBC. I’m the first LDR in Johnston Press and will soon be joined by colleagues covering Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster.
We know a wealth of stories come out of the Town Hall, from immigration and health to libraries and regeneration so there is plenty for us to get our teeth into
We are based in The Star and Telegraph office but funded by the BBC. All the stories, audio and video we produce is shared with the newspapers, the BBC and 700 other organisations nationwide which have signed up to a news wire.
The Local Democracy Reporter Service created up to 150 new journalism jobs to help fill a gap in the reporting of local democracy issues.
The team has a very defined remit – to report on all aspects of local authorities, Police and Crime Commissioners, elected Mayors and police and fire authorities.
We know a wealth of stories come out of the Town Hall, from immigration and health to libraries and regeneration so there is plenty for us to get our teeth into.
For the first time, our dedicated reporters will be attending all the council meetings, trawling agendas, following politics stories and filing stories for both newspapers and the BBC. We will provide a platform for communities to have their voice heard.
It’s an exciting time for both the media and local democracy. Sheffield Council still does not broadcast its meetings live on the internet but our team will be giving independent and impartial reporting on all meetings.
We’re constantly evolving how we report and are embracing social media. Expect tweets from meetings, round table discussions broadcast live on Facebook and husting meetings with Radio Sheffield.
It’s a new journey for us journalists and one which we hope you will join us on.