Monday, September 13 2010, 10:37 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,
Scottish broadcaster STV has officially launched its STV Local initiative, which aims to create a network of hyper-local websites across Scotland.
A pilot of STV Local went live today in Airdrie, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Motherwell and Wishaw. The service will be rolled out across the whole of Scotland throughout 2010 and into 2011.
STV Local websites are designed to offer a "wealth of information" for local communities, including news, events listings, ratings and reviews, as well as weather updates, traffic information and a business directory.
There will also be information from local public bodies, sports organisations, theatre groups, schools, church groups and community services.
Each local site will be branded according to their area, such as STV Motherwell, STV Cumbernauld or STV Coatbridge.
STV recently recruited former Herald And Times Group digital editor David Milne as executive editor for the project, while ex-Daily Record digital head Iain Hepburn will act as its editor.
"This is a brand new, interactive service for local communities in Scotland, which offers a wealth of relevant and easy-to-access content and an opportunity to share information, news and events on a very local level," said STV head of digital Alistair Brown.
"We're very excited about the six pilot sites in North Lanarkshire and our community editors have had a great response from businesses and community groups in the area.
"We will continue to develop and extend the network of sites into town and cities across Scotland, and ultimately we hope that the service will become owned by the local communities themselves."
STV chief executive Rob Woodward added: "Earlier this year we launched digital initiative STV Anywhere, as we strive to make our services and content available to our audiences whenever and wherever they want it. STV Local is a great example of this.
"This new hyper-local initiative is a significant part of STV's digital strategy, which is a key growth area for the business. STV has a very strong relationship with communities across Scotland. Through STV Local, we are building a digital platform which will inform people and enable them to share, engage and connect with their community."
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