Remember reading about that inspiring charity fundraiser, trophy for the local football team, or the latest tax/bus/library/bin collection scandal? The chances are you saw it first in the local newspaper.
Such material is the bread and butter for many of the 1,100 local newspapers. They bind together communities by providing a highly trusted and relevant source of news. The Newspaper Society is doing a great job of highlighting the value of regional news brands this week by organising Local Newspaper Week.
No-one would deny times have been tough for newspapers of all shapes and sizes. But it is worth remembering that 31 million people read a local paper every week and 62 million visit their websites each month. 6 in 10 members of the adult population read a local newspaper and HoldTheFrontPage reported soaring online readership rates for regional publishers in the final months of last year. So it would seem reports of the industry’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
PR professionals do their bit of course – by paying NLA licence fees to monitor regional news content. In 2012 we paid a total of £8.3 million in licence income to regional publishers - enough to support the jobs of several hundred local journalists.
If you value this source of news - don’t forget to buy the local paper this week!
Managing Director, NLA
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