Where do I look for local news?

In real life, people get their news from a variety of sources. We have local and national newspapers, local and national TV and radio etc. which people choose as their favourites.

With the advent of the internet the choices are endless but, as you are now aware, news comes with the bias of the provider as it ever did – but now commercial interests dominate.

We in Wing now have several sources of local news, thanks to the internet.

At the beginning of the 21st century, companies, groups, societies, towns and villages etc. had to have their own website. Wing has it’s Wing Community website that acts as a focal point for Village News – and a repository of all events in the village that have happened since 2011. It is also a source of information of the various aspects of the village life; the WI, the Church, the Village Hall, the Neighbourhood Plan etc. It is viewable by anyone from anywhere in the world and is looked at by people with some connection with Wing to keep in touch with what friends and family are up to without having to log on. It is exempt from GDPR because it doesn’t keep any GPDR “personally identifiable” data on the site.

However since the website’s inception “Social Media” has reared its head. Facebook, Twitter and myriad other social media platforms and search engines such as Google have grown to dominate. Their purported reason is to act as advertisers, just like electronic versions of print newspapers, but the main source of income is to make money by selling information about YOU!

However, they are seductive. I could not function without Google to find things, Twitter, Skype and Facebook to contact and converse with friends – and strangers. Even US Presidents!! And most people now use, or at least look at, Facebook, Skype and Twitter to keep in touch with friends and family.

There has been, and still is, good old fashion email.

So how do we get eyeballs to see what is happening in Wing?

We use “appropriate technology”.

We can’t ignore Facebook, Twitter etc. Most of the civilized ( and uncivilized! ) world uses social media and it is difficult to ignore them and persuade them to leave their social media of choice. So we have a Facebook Group called “Wing Community” and a Twitter account called “@wingrutlanduk” which are automatically updated with any item from the Wing Community website ( although the Facebook link is flaky, as is the rest of the Facebook site).

But Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all public sites i.e. anyone can create an account and access the Group sites but they expose themselves to targetted adverts based upon their activities.

However, as with 5 local neighbourhoods, Uppingham, Morcott, Glaston, Edith Weston and North Luffenham Wing is a member of the closed Nextdoor community. You can only join if you have an invite from an existing member AND your name and address is confirmed by LexisNexis UK Ltd and also by your NextDoor Lead ( John Oakley ).

Nextdoor is like a simple Facebook with few functions other than posting and replying to messages, which as also sent to your email address. But it is the most heavily used of all the message facilities because it is so simple and, unlike the Wing Community website, any member can post or send a private message to anyone else in their neighbourhood without exposing their personal data to the outside world. 

It has replaced the telephone for many people in Wing because if you need ANYTHING a quick message on Nextdoor is usually answered in minutes. And if you send an URGENT message it instantly sends an email to everyone in the neighbourhood and also goes to all neighbours who have supplied a mobile phone number as a text message.

I am disabled and I have twice fallen and called for help with an URGENT message from my iPhone ( which I have in my pocket at all times ) and within 2 minutes have been rescued!

I fell once getting out of the bath and didn’t have my phone handy so I now make sure it is always within reach. Fortunately, my wife was within earshot so she was able to call for help and a neighbour sent a couple of burly builders working on her property around. One problem: what is the polite protocol to greet a pair of total strangers who arrive to help when you are laying on the bathroom floor totally naked? I remembered I was British and introduced myself and shook their hands before they picked me up!

I now have an Amazon Alexa so I can call it to send an URGENT message to Nextdoor in an emergency. A friend in Kibworth fell recently and had a commercial alarm button around her neck so she pressed the button – and waited several hours before help came!

John Oakley,

Editor of the Wing Community website, the Facebook Wing Community Facebook Group, Lead for the Wing Nextdoor site and Wing Correspondent for the Rutland Water Benefice Parish Magazine.



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