What NEED does this meet?
A central place to help people write a letter to their local newspaper. For individuals, it makes it easy to find out what local newspapers you have, and it saves you having to look up the address. For organisations (e.g. campaigining charities) it makes it easy to encourage your supporters to write to their local newspaper.
What is the APPROACH?
The same interface as WriteToThem. Enter your postcode, it shows newspapers with circulation in/near that area, and brief info about them. You choose a newspaper, and write your letter to the editor. A few weeks later, it mails you to see if your letter was printed or not.
What are the BENEFITS to people?
It will encourage more people to publicise and share their problems and opinions in their local community, via their local newspaper.
What is the COMPETITION?
The newspaper society has a database of local newspapers http://www.nsdatabase.co.uk/. But it has no feature to search by postcode, or to directly write to them.
What BUDGETS & LOGISTICS are required?
Fairly cheap, as we already have part of the code to screenscrape the Newspaper Society database, and maintain changes to it.
How tough would it be to automate the process of (reliably) establishing whether a letter has been published?
Good idea, Francis – gets my support.
I’ve occasionally felt the urge to raise an issue in the local press but failed to do so due to not knowing the relevant contact details. This suggestion, I’m sure, would help many of us to air our views and considerably improve access to local newspapers.
If successful, such a system could be expanded to “write to your local radio station or even local television station”. Thinking further ahead it could even be “write to your media” which could incorporate national and local media, both printed (journals, magazines and newspapers), broadcast and online!
Yes, if I want to write to the paper 10 times, I actually get to write once, because there are always so many other things to do. This sounds like a real timesaver.