CASE STUDY #4: My Turriff
Updated: May 5, 2020
Area of Influence: Turriff, Aberdeenshire
Editor: Mike Rawlins
Turriff is a small town roughly 30 miles north-west of Aberdeen. The town has a population of around 5,500 residents, made up broadly of offshore gas and oil workers, people working in local agriculture and local retail and hospitality.
My Turriff is an independent digital publisher that supports the people of Turriff and surrounding areas by covering local news and community information, as well as promoting local events and groups. The title is popular with locals, averaging 35,000 monthly page views and having over 7,700 followers on Facebook; figures which are only going up as the community continues to look to My Turriff for the latest Covid-19 updates.
Beyond traditional journalism
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, My Turriff has in many ways become a central support hub for the local community. They started by setting up a call out for volunteers to sign up to help others in the community, should it become necessary.
By sharing a simple form on social media, the title managed to recruit around 100 volunteers from the local area, happy to lend a hand to others isolated by the pandemic identified by local pharmacies, healthcare and social work professionals, and other local support organisations.
My Turriff has since registered as a formal community group with the Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub, the regional hub for people needing support.
They now receive calls from GCAH, as well as local requests for help and support. Requests are hand matched with volunteers who have registered with My Turriff; the publisher contacts an individual in need of support to check to clarify what it is that they need, before finding and matching them with a suitable volunteer from their database who is available to help.
This helps to ensure that both the volunteer and the individual in need of help are both aware of who they will be working with, as well as checking the volunteer will not be going too far out of their way to lend a hand.
“So far, we have been lucky that there has not been a huge number of confirmed cases or deaths up here in the North East, but we are very aware that we are some way behind the curve and are expecting things to get busier in the next few weeks.” – Mike Rawlins, Editor.
My Turriff is an invaluable resource for Aberdeenshire locals, now more so than ever and the publication is testament to the importance of independent local journalism in sustaining local communities, and the pressing need to #saveindependentnews.