Floods boost visits to regional newspaper sites

LONDON - Associated Northcliffe Digital has reported a boom in traffic to its regional newspaper websites in Gloucestershire and Hull, after local residents logged on during the floods for the latest information.

Thisisgloucestershire.co.uk and thisishull.co.uk provided regular flood updates and issues relating to water supplies, acting as the main port of call for concerned residents working alongside their print siblings The Gloucestershire Echo and The Hull and East Riding Mail.

More than 200,000 people visited the Gloucestershire site during July and more than 180,000 visited the Hull version during June, more than twice the average for both sites in comparison to the previous six months.

Audience interaction levels were high during the period, more than 500 images of the floods were published to the Hull site by residents, while the Gloucestershire site received more than 3,000 reader comments in one week, compared with a 300 weekly average.

Michael Pelosi, managing director of Northcliffe Media, said: "Local digital media now plays an integral part in people's lives. They are able to log on to their local online portals to access the latest information on issues and events that directly affect them.

"In times of crisis, people need regular information updates, which we were able to provide via our online portals."

The Daily Mail & General Trust owns Associated Northcliffe Digital, and has a portfolio of more than 100 sites, including the Thisis network of 30 regional news sites.

The trust has ploughed money and resources into its digital regional newsrooms recently, to focus on regional online news and target local residents.

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