We all know that this year’s Budget was not a rosy one. It means a lot of cuts for a lot of people in the coming year.
Our very own Your2pence-er Rebecca Bell looked at how the media covered the event on the big day, but looking into the future Channel 4 News has launched a user-generated microsite which lets people build a UK wide and ongoing picture of the impact of the budget.
Why? Well for Channel 4 it’s a bit of data collection and newsgathering from right across the country without having to life a finger.
It lets people mark out the cuts in their areas and by sector – see the map on the left – as well as letting them link local sites and blogs to the map by using twitter #c4cuts, or submitting online.
The reasoning behind the map
Ed Fraser, commissioning editor for Channel 4 News online, said:
“People want the experiences from their region to feed into our journalism, and they want to be involved in creating a comprehensive picture of how these big announcements play out for them.
“With time, we’re hoping this will be a revealing map of how cuts are being made, and how they are affecting communities across the country. It will be used to inform our web users, but also our coverage.”
One of a kind?
“Wow! How novel!” I hear you say, “The first of its kind”. Well not quite. There are actually several sites already dedicated to cuts which Channel 4 didn’t use.
Where are the cuts say…
“The cuts you see on this site display have all been collected from official sources or entered directly by members of the public. There’s no ‘official’ list of what’s being cut where, so we need your help to build up the map.”
“So, if you know about a service that’s been cut near you – like a library, or a bus route – or have read about some redundancies at your local council, or that there’s suddenly less money for a research programme at a university, you can help build up the Where Are The Cuts? map.”
False Economy lets you see the cuts per region and then allows even more detailed analysis by breaking down the cuts further by area.
Added to this, the site also allows people to post their own testimonies on the site, letting them explain not only what the cuts are, but how it affects them personally.
Tracking the maps’ success
And how successful are these UGC maps at the moment? Well at time of uploading this blogpost, Channel 4 had around 127 reports, wherearethecuts 1,171 and falseeconomy around 450. Not great you may think, but lets face it, with tough times ahead and as the cuts go deeper, more people may feel the impulse to upload the cuts in their areas.