The most personal of news

One of the many things I left undone when I quit my job was a plan to start an announcement tool. I wanted a means for people to announce weddings, births, deaths, promotions, graduations, anything. This, after all, is the news that really counts in people’s lives. Now in the UK the Johnston chain of papers is enabling this with a company called iAnnounce.

The cost for announcement ads varies across titles but the interactive service will be automatically bundled with the print announcement. Members of the public can then offer to keep the page live by renewing the announcement for a monthly fee. . . . Chief executive Alex Stitt . . . said that in 2006, the announcement industry generated £80m in the UK with more than two million ads posted every year. As much as 95% of those are posted in local newspapers. “The need to announce is hardwired for people,” said Mr Stitt. “Local newspapers are all about community, and this takes something old fashioned and makes it exciting and new.”

It doesn’t get more hyperlocal than this.