Edinburgh Council’s Communities and Neighbourhood Committee met today and agreed to add the Digital Sentinel to their Contact in the Capital project.
The addition of the Digital Sentinel to the scheme means that we will receive a one-off grant of up to £12,000 and will be able to develop your local news website as well as continuing to provide useful news and articles!
The Digital Sentinel will be joining the two current pilots, the North Edinburgh News and the Digital Chronicle, which covers the Craigmillar area. The Committee felt that the Digital Sentinel already met the previously agreed criteria:
Adds value to an existing communications channel or uses new technology /social media to add value and save money;
Enables information to reach people more quickly or more effectively;
Offers ways to reach hard to reach audiences;
Provides two way communications – encouraging feedback and ongoing dialogue;
Provides opportunities to be adapted or replicated for use in other areas and communities;
Enhances community capacity and in particular links in to Community Council or other community based group activity; and
Offers opportunities for training and skill development.
They also felt that the addition of the Digital Sentinel would significantly expand the areas covered by Contact in the Capital as it would add the South West to the North and East, giving more detailed information about the possibility of community news projects around the city.
The motion by Councillor Maureen Child and seconded by Councillor Alex Lunn to add the Digital Sentinel passed with nine votes after an amendment by Councillor Paul Eddie, seconded by Councillor Allan Jackson, to wait until the evaluation of the current projects in May before adding any additional funding, received two votes. The Council will evaluate the success of all three of the pilots in May.
Speaking at the Committee meeting Councillor Lunn said:
The Digital Sentinel is already leading the way on training and digital media. Anyone who gets their many email updates can’t help but be impressed by them. They are very up to date.
Allan Farmer, Manager of WHALE Arts , added:
This welcome investment will allow us to increase community involvement in the Digital Sentinel. It will further develop the site as the main source for local news, information, and independent voice for the community in Wester Hailes.
You can watch the recorded webcast of the committee meeting on the Council website.