MyLocal’s Daniel Ionescu on platforms for sustainable local news

Host: Esther Kezia Thorpe
October 23, 2023

This week we’re joined by Daniel Ionescu, founder of The Lincolnite, an independent local news publisher in Lincolnshire. He is also the founder and editor of new local news platform MyLocal, which is setting out to create a sustainable ecosystem where local journalism, communities and businesses can thrive.

Daniel talks us through why he got into local news in 2010 and the opportunity he spotted to make local news much more up-to-date when compared to the digital efforts of local news organisations still tied to the print cycle. He explains how MyLocal came about, and how they anticipated some of the problems publishers are facing today with the decline in social media traffic and challenges around sustainable revenue streams.

We also discuss the importance of building human, direct relationships to build trust in local news titles, whether collaboration between large and small outlets is realistic, and if local news can ever truly be sustainable.

A selected highlight from the episode:

Founding the Lincolnite…

“About 13 years ago, in 2010, when I graduated from the University of Lincoln, where I studied journalism. Based on the local media landscape we had at the time, we came up with a simple concept, which was still a big thing in local media back in 2010, which was ‘today’s news today’.”

“So the environment in which we were operating at the time was a daily local newspaper from one of the national companies. But with a website as well, of course, everybody had a website by 2010, but the news on the website was the news from the paper at five or 6am put on that morning, which was obviously the news from the previous day, if not two days ago. So anything that was happening on that day relating to traffic, policing, or any other updates.

“So we created The Lincolnite in a newcomer’s image really also with my experience at the University and what we were wanting to find out, how to navigate our daily lives in Lincoln. And The Lincolnite was the place where you could do that and find out the latest stuff going on in companion with everything else that was happening in in Lincolnshire, and that’s how we really started The Lincolnite and the simple concept behind it.

“Of course, it evolved a lot over over the past 13 years, I was going to say it has changed so much. But that’s also what spurred our idea and transition to MyLocal which is the next stage of evolution in what we’re doing, both as a publication and as journalists.”


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