[Simon Dixon ](http://simondickson.wordpress.com/2007/07/06/personalised-news-back-on-the-agenda/)gave me a useful heads-up to a very interesting snippet in [Helen Boaden’s speech](http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/07/whats_the_future_for_news.html) to today’s big Future Of News conference. Apparently the beeb have the go ahead for a project called My News Now.

This will be a service which allows highly sophisticated personalisation – so whatever your age or interests, you can get the subjects and the styles of news which you find attractive – when you want them, for the present moment or to download for later.

Simon thinks that the Beeb may be the only news organisation with the local resources to be able to do this properly.

Truly personalised news, down to ultra-local level, takes huge resources. If you’re going to offer news about my town, even my suburb, you need an organisation with someone in my town or suburb to report on it. With its local radio network, the BBC is the only organisation that comes close to this depth of coverage on a national scale.

I don’t agree. I think a lot of the regional media groups could give the beeb a run for its money in terms of content. But it does follow that the beeb are the only ones who could have the brand leverage to make it work across the uk and as wisely says:

Curiously, the only possible rival is the audience itself..?

Jeff Jarvis picks up on this point as he laments the *” long-time-coming closing of Backfence”*and in explaining the necessity for sites like Backfence highlights a model for collaboration:

Newspapers will produce journalism, I hope. Individual bloggers will produce reporting, I hope. And people who are doing neither will want to contribute what they know to this pool of information without having to have their own sites. So we will need a combination of models and platforms: Newspapers will have local sites. Local bloggers will do their own thing. There is a need for group sites like Backfence or GoSkokie, which helped inspire it, where people can contribute. There is a need to organize all this; I hope Outside.in can do that (disclosure: I’m an adviser).