How do you become a television weatherman?

Well, for Des Coleman, the effervescent presenter currently creating a cult following for himself amongst viewers of ITV Central, it was via a welding job in Staffordshire, a prison cell at Winson Green, treading the boards on the West End stage – and being dumped by the BBC.

 

 

Des, who grew up in Derby with his Jamaican-born Windrush Generation parents, revealed the twists and turns in his career path during a Q & A session at a Birmingham Press Club networking evening chaired by Club president Bob Warman.

 

After leaving school at the age of 16, Des was employed as a welder in Rugeley. But in his early 20s he spent time in prison, serving some of his sentence in Winson Green for motoring offences – committed while he was a passenger in a car driven by a joy-riding friend.

 

Des eventually focused his ambitions on drama and won a place at Guildford School of Acting. After graduating, he went on to appear in stage musicals such as Chicago and Miss Saigon before making his television debut as wideboy Lenny Wallace in Eastenders – a role that lasted for three years.

 

Other TV and stage roles followed, as did a job on BBC Radio Derby, where he was asked to do the weather report at the Broadcast Centre in Nottingham, signalling another career change, which resulted in him being trained as a weather presenter and employment with BBC East Midlands Today.

 

But four years later, in 2011, Des was arrested and charged for allegedly pointing an imitation firearm at another driver on a motorway. The BBC gave him the sack after he used a live weather report to protest his innocence – Des deliberately put the wrong temperature on the weather map and told viewers they should not believe everything said by the media!

 

But then Des was “completely exonerated” of all allegations after the judge criticised the prosecution for acting “negligently” for not having discovered details of the past convictions of the prosecuting witness – four incidents of road rage and one of threatening another motorist with a knife.

 

For Des, the outlook brightened up two years ago when ITV Central News took him on as the station’s weather presenter, his bubbly nature soon endearing him to legions of viewers.

 

Other fans still appreciate Des’ talents as a singer – for he regularly appears on stage and at functions as part of the award-winning tribute band, The Rack Pack, which tours Britain and overseas.

 

And for those of us in the Midlands, we can see Des – and the rest of the Rat Pack – at Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre, on Friday, 27 July.

University to launch new journalism degree

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An editor turned lecturer is set to lead the University of Leicester’s new journalism degree after previously teaching the subject at a different institution in the same city.

The university will launch its BA journalism programme at its open day on Friday 6 July.

The three-year programme will be led by associate professor in journalism Tor Clark (pictured) who was previously principal lecturer in journalism at Leicester’s De Montfort University and served as programme leader of its two journalism degrees.

Tor is a former editor of the Harborough Mail and Rutland & Stamford Mercury. He took up his new post last year after previously spending 12 years with De Montfort.

“Having worked in journalism for the last 30 years and taught it for the last 14, I have designed a programme which uses all my knowledge of the industry and the academy to create a degree which is enjoyable to study, helps students enjoy their own academic, professional and personal development and then equips them for either employment or further study on graduation,” said Tor.

He added: “The new journalism degree is designed to embrace all the various forms of journalism now operating, to give students a taste of all platforms, but also to emphasise students’ development of core and key journalism skills. Alongside the development of these skills, students will study the context and controversies of journalism and develop their employability through practical work and professional placements.”

The programme will focus on practical skills, the context of journalism and developing the employability of its students over their three years of study and work placements.

The degree will be run by lecturers from the university’s School of Media, Communication and Sociology.

Tor said: “ “The aim is for every student to think like a journalist and core news skills will be at the heart of the degree. Students will be constantly challenged to push the boundaries, to probe, question and to uncover the news. They will develop the attributes and skills to sniff out a story and to tell it in a compelling way.”

Weekly column is deemed unpopular – after being fixture for more than two decades!

For almost 22 years, journalist John Philpott has been supplying a weekly column, on a freelance basis, to the Worcester News. Now the editor has axed the column because he says it is not “particularly popular” with readers.

 

John Philpott (pictured) told media website Hold The Front Page: “Taking into account the number of Worcester’s establishment figures I have annoyed down the years, I must admit to being surprised that I survived this long.

“During the early days, there was a determined bid by the local Labour group to strangle the column at birth over a piece I wrote about an attempt to concrete over a much-loved park in the city. Thankfully, it failed – as did the concreting. But the incident showed that then, as now, Labour’s instinct is to stifle dissent.

 

“But having said that, I’ve also annoyed quite a few Tories in my time, including one very high-ranking individual who tried to knobble the then editor over several columns I wrote supporting a businessman’s attempt to save a Worcester theatre from closure.

 

“My column embraced numerous topics and talking points around Worcester and I was all set for another 22 years, but there you go,” said John, who has worked for a number of regional newspapers, including the Worcester News, in a career, which has spanned almost five decades. He blamed “number-crunchers” for his departure.

 

Michael Purton, who took over as editor of the Worcester News earlier this year, said: “As part of a revamp of the features sections in the Worcester News, and to increase the amount of news articles in each edition of the newspaper, we decided to bring an end to freelance contributor John Philpott’s weekly column along with a number of other regular articles which, reader feedback showed, were not particularly popular.

 

 

“I’d like to thank John for his service to the Worcester News,” he added.

 

 

 

Media Debate hosted by BBC Midlands

 

Newspaper editor Marc Reeves told a panel discussion on the future of the media that he had witnessed more significant change in the industry during the last two or three years than he had in the whole of the last quarter of a century.

But despite digital advancements, and the explosion of social media – and the dramatic fading of the “traditional consumption” of news – core values had remained unaltered.

“At the end of the day, we are still holding councils to account and exposing those who need to be exposed,” he told attendees at a Birmingham Press Club/BBC Midlands event. “And good old-fashioned journalism, with its various checks in place, will counter-act fake news.”

Marc, who is editor in chief of the Midlands operation of Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror), said his core print titles would be around for a long time yet, but he added:  “We have crossed the Rubicon” – acknowledging the rapid development of the digital sector and the success of the Birmingham Mail’s website, Birmingham Live.

He added that he was more optimistic for the future than he had been for a while and that Birmingham’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2022 would be the peg on which to hang so many opportunities – sentiments echoed by the other panel members, Eileen Murphy, editor of BBC News Online from BBC Birmingham, Rob Adcock, social media executive for BBC Three and Luke Addis, owner of Updates Media, who said he planned to open new websites for Coventry and London later this year.

Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Midlands, who hosted the event at the BBC’s headquarters at The Mailbox, said he believed there was renewed confidence and optimism in the region after having come through “some difficult times.” Commenting on Birmingham being shortlisted as one of the potential relocations for Channel 4, Eileen said that if the broadcaster moved to the city – now a centre of digital excellence - it would act as a ‘magnet” for further significant investment. A decision on the relocation is expected on 1 October.

The discussion took place under the chairmanship of BBC Midlands Today presenter Mary Rhodes.

Pics: Andrew Kibbler

Weatherman Des in the “hot seat.”

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He’s been an actor in Eastenders, appeared in stage musicals and a film with Sam Neill, not to mention being a television reporter and presenter.

But his fans in the West Midlands will mostly recognise him nowadays as the man who puts the sunshine into the weather forecast on ITV Central News

He’s Derby-born Des Coleman (pictured), who has been ITV Central’s irrepressible weatherman since 2016.

Now he’ll be facing a Q & A session, hosted by his ITV colleague & Press Club President Bob Warman, at the Press Club’s next monthly drop-in networking event.

That’s on Thursday, 7 June at St Paul’s Club, St Paul’s Square, Birmingham. Members meet from 6 pm and Des will be in the “hot seat” round about 7 pm – straight after giving a weather update on the ITV News programme.

 

National success for Birmingham journalist and Stratford photographer

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BIRMINGHAM Mail Crime & Investigations Editor Jeanette Oldham took one of the top honours at this year’s Regional Press Awards – being named Daily/Sunday Reporter of the Year.

 

 

She picked up the title at the Regional Press Awards, held in London and organised by the Society of Editors.

 

Judges said they were impressed by Jeanette's exclusive exposé and in-depth examination of Birmingham’s gang violence in a series of hard-hitting articles. It was her fifth national award in just three years.

READ MORE

Jeanette’s portfolio also included the exclusive revelation that top-secret documents had been stolen from anti-terror chief Marcus Beale’s car. West Midlands Police’s head of Counter Terrorism was later found guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act, and was dismissed.

 

The awards entry also included her reporting on the theft of £3 million worth of engines from Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant in an audacious raid.

READ MORE

“The Reporter of the Year accolade is richly deserved,” said Paul Cole, Print Editor of the Birmingham Mail. “Jeanette is a journalist whose work makes a difference – and that is what we all got into this business to do.

 

“Her investigation into new emerging gangs in Birmingham was clear public interest journalism because it raised awareness of an unpublicised, but serious, new threat. “West Midlands Police has a specialist operation to tackle these groups, and our coverage prompted councillors to take up the issue.

 

“More than 14 gang members have been arrested for child sex offences and a number have been jailed. And since our coverage, the number of shootings and stabbings and sex offences in the south of Birmingham has fallen significantly,” he said.

 

In 2016, Jeanette picked up both the Reporter of The Year and Specialist Reporter of The Year honours at the Regional Press Awards, where judges praised her campaigning work in the Birmingham Mail and Sunday Mercury on child sexual exploitation and police corruption. In 2015, Oldham was named Specialist Reporter of the Year at the Regional Press Awards, and picked up the Local Heroes award at the British Journalism Awards, again for her work on exposing child sexual exploitation and the failure of the authorities to deal with it.

 

Another winner at the Regional Press Awards was Mark Williamson (pictured), of the Stratford upon Avon Herald, who took the honours in the Weekly Photographer of the Year category.

It was his second major award in two years.

In 2016, Mark, who has worked at the Herald for more than 40 years, won the Tony Flanagan News Photographer of the Year award at the annual Midlands Media Awards, organised by Birmingham Press Club. His winning pictures included a wakeboarding trial session, funeral and summer event, which all took place in the Stratford region.

  • Trinity Mirror’s Birmingham Live was highly commended at the awards for Digital Initiative shown in the ‘Brummie Mummies’ platform organised by journalist Zoe Chamberlain, who, in 2016 won Feature Writer of the Year at the Midlands Media Awards. Tim Thursfield, Express & Star, was highly commended in the Daily/Sunday Photographer of the Year category.

 

What’s in store for the media? – Come and hear what the experts think

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Birmingham Press Club is joining forces with BBC Midlands to hold a panel discussion on the future direction of journalism and news.

 

 

The Future of Media evening  will take place at the BBC’s base at The Mailbox on Wednesday, 30 May, under the chairmanship of  BBC Midlands Today presenter Mary Rhodes (pictured).

 

Press Club directors Eileen Murphy, the Editor of BBC News Online from BBC Birmingham and Marc Reeves, Editor in Chief for Trinity Mirror Midlands, will be joined on the panel by Luke Addis, owner of Updates Media, and Rob Adcock, social media executive for BBC Three.

 

Llewela Bailey, Press Club chairman, said:  “The subject of Press freedom has once more been put under the microscope with MPs rejecting calls to re-open the Leveson Inquiry - and the House of Lords trying time and time again to challenge the Commons’ ruling.  So our panel discussion could not be more timely – and we trust the audience will get an insight into how the media here is staying one step ahead as Birmingham thrives as a city and prepares to take centre stage for huge global events such as Commonwealth Games.”

 

 Before introducing panel members to the audience, Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Midlands, will open proceedings by giving an overview of the challenges and opportunities in Birmingham today.

 

Press Club members wishing to attend the event (6 pm – 8 pm) should confirm their place (first come, first served) by emailing Press Club vice-chairman Fred Bromwich at fred.bromwich@btinternet.com

 

Trinity Mirror name-change gets approval

Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has officially changed its name to Reach plc after shareholders approved the move at the annual general meeting of the company.

The UK’s biggest regional publisher originally announced the name change proposal in March, saying its present name “no longer reflects” the business.” Now shareholders have approved the change with 99.87pc voting in favour.

A company statement said: “Trading in the company’s shares will commence under the new TIDM code RCH with effect from 8 May 2018.”

The change has already been filed with Companies House, which now lists Reach plc as the company’s name.

In a statement issued in March, the company said: “Trinity Mirror has evolved significantly since it was formed in September 1999 following the merger of Trinity plc and Mirror Group plc, particularly since the acquisition of publishing assets from Northern & Shell and Local World.

“As such, the name no longer accurately reflects the Company.”

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Chief executive Simon Fox, pictured, said at the time: “Through our content we reach millions of people every day.  Our reach extends across multiple platforms in both print and digital and across the cities and communities that we serve. We think this is a name which better reflects what we do and what our ambitions are.”

LAUNCH OF CONNECTED MONEY APP

HSBC UK has launched Connected Money - the first app from a UK bank that allows customers to see their accounts on one screen.

The app allows users to see not only their UK current account but online savings accounts, mortgages, loans and cards held across a number of banks, including non HSBC accounts, in one app.

The technology is now publically available to all HSBC UK current account customers using iOS 10 and above via the App Store.

Becky Moffat (pictured), HSBC UK Head of Personal Banking and Advance, said: “Our customers live busy lives and bank in a variety of ways. We want to help them to manage their money more easily.

“Having access to one app that shares insights across a customer’s UK current accounts, mortgages, credit cards, savings and loans saves time by not having to individually log into each account and provides a clear view of their financial position. From testing this technology with customers we found that it gave them a sense of better control and financial confidence,” she added.

HSBC UK, the overall sponsor of Birmingham Press Club, will later this year officially open its new headquarters building in the city. It serves around 14.5 million customers in the UK.

And now…. It’s the Peaky Blinders Ballet!

 

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, speaking at a Birmingham Press Club celebrity lunch, has revealed plans for a ballet version of the hit Birmingham gangster TV show.

The Oscar-nominated screenwriter said the Ballet Rambert dance company had approached him with plans for a ballet based on the Shelby crime family.

Steven also told guests he is planning three more series of the drama and is lobbying the BBC to film more of the show in his home city.

The last series was the most popular installment of the BBC Two drama yet.

Steven, who is currently writing season five, said: "We are definitely doing [series] six and we will probably do seven. After series four it went mad.

"We've talked to [lead actor] Cillian Murphy and he's all for it, and the rest of the principal cast are in for it."

He revealed talks over a dance version of the show, saying: "I had a meeting with Ballet Rambert who want to do Peaky Blinders - The Ballet. I'm saying 'why not?'"

Steven said he was keen to use the show's success to promote Birmingham and wants more filming to take place in the city. Previous episodes have been filmed elsewhere, with the Black Country Living Museum one of the only locations close to Birmingham.

"I'm trying to get series five shot here and trying to get as many Birmingham actors as I can in," he said.

"It's always bothered me that Birmingham didn't have that profile. It's a big city and it wasn't shouting about it.

"I'm sort of an evangelist for the city, so that was part of wanting to do it."

At the lunch, held at Opus Restaurant, Birmingham, and sponsored by Digbeth Dining Club, Steven was also installed as an Honorary Life Member of Birmingham Press Club – the oldest of its kind in the world – and received the traditional gift of an Acme Whistles-made bugle from Bob Warman, the press club’s president (pictured).

Pic:  Ian Tennant


 

Editors to advise colleges in training shake-up

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Birmingham Press Club director Marc Reeves is among a number of regional editors who are to advise individual journalism colleges on the latest newsroom practices as part of a plan to make industry training “more rigorous”.

 

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has announced the appointment of 14 editorial chiefs from across regional and national media in a bid to tighten up its accreditation process.

They include Trinity Mirror’s West Midland editor-in-chief Marc Reeves and his East Midlands counterpart Steve Hall, Rachael Sugden, Trinity Mirror Gloucestershire senior editor and Martin Wright, editor of the Shropshire Star.

Marc commented: "It's great to be more involved. The pace of change in the regional news industry is such that you can be out of touch within just a few months, so its essential that courses are closer than ever to the industry.

“This can only be good for the students, who are more employable as a result - as well as employers like Trinity Mirror who want people to hit the ground running when they're recruited,” he added.

The editors have been assigned to work with the NCTJ’s accredited centres to offer practical support, knowledge and advice on the latest journalistic techniques and working practices.

The NCTJ currently accredits more than 80 journalism courses at some 40 universities, further education colleges and independent training centres across the UK.

 

The appointments form part of a broader plan, unveiled by the NCTJ, which will see centres with consistently high performance standards being made subject to fewer visits by the organisation.

Key features of the approach include:

  • An even more rigorous, transparent and cost-effective system allowing efforts to be concentrated where they are needed most. Centres with consistently high performance standards will be subject to fewer visits.

  • More practical support from editors and the NCTJ with closer collaboration between accredited course providers and the industry.

  • Designated industry advisers are offering knowledge and advice on the latest journalistic techniques and working practices.

  • A holistic and risk-based proportionate approach using evidence and information gathered by the NCTJ to raise standards and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.

 

Dining Club to sponsor Press Club “scoop”

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One of Birmingham’s fastest-growing entrepreneurial enterprises is to sponsor Birmingham Press Club’s celebrity lunch with Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight on Friday, 4 May.

 

“Tickets are selling very well and we expect a sell-out event,” said Press Club director Kay Cadman, who is organising the function, which is to be held at Opus Restaurant, Cornwall Street, Birmingham, B3 2DE.

Fellow-Press Club director Katie Cohen, senior media relations manager with HSBC UK, which is the Press Club’s overall sponsor, said:  “Steven is one of today’s top screenwriters and his creations, not least Peaky Blinders, continue to delight audiences around the world. It’s a real ‘scoop’ for the Press Club to have Steven as our guest.”

Sponsoring the lunch will be Digbeth Dining Club, which since its inception in 2012 has been a trailblazer in the nationwide “street-food revolution” – as well as establishing itself as one of Birmingham’s favourite leisure destinations.

Such events host a range of street-food traders from around the country, serving up a variety of cuisine alongside live music, DJs, arts markets, cocktails and a monthly retro gaming experience.

Digbeth Dining Club also acts as a pop-up street-food event at locations across the Midlands, including Codsall, Coventry, Shrewsbury and various venues in Birmingham.

Digbeth Dining Club director Jack Brabant said: “Street food is one of the UK’s fasting growing industries at the moment, and in the past five years we have given a platform to over 40 new businesses to start their own projects. Several former traders who began their careers at Digbeth Dining Club now have their own restaurants.”

He added: “We pride ourselves on being the voice of authentic and alternative food in Birmingham, providing quality on every platform and coupling it with a unique atmosphere in a truly special environment.”

In November 2016, guest celebrity Steven Knight, who was born in Birmingham, received the highest honour from the Royal Television Society’s Midlands centre – the Baird Medal – in recognition of his extraordinary career. Apart from creating hit BBC gangster series Peaky Blinders, Steven has co-created “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” and written numerous TV series and movies, including Woman Walks Ahead, which has a release date of 29 June in the US with Jessica Chastain in a starring role.

Tickets for the lunch may be obtained by logging on to www.birminghampressclub.co.uk/booking

 

 

Ex-editor dies in hospital after fall at home

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A former weekly editor who went on to become a prominent figure in the wider industry, including serving as president of the Guild of Editors, has died aged 84.

John Hardeman (pictured) was president of the Guild, the forerunner of the Society of Editors in 1985, and also played a role in establishing journalism training in its early years.

Editor of the Solihull News for seven years, he went on to become editorial director of Reed Midland Newspapers, overseeing the Worcester News among other titles.

John, who is survived by his five children, died in Warwick Hospital after suffering a fall at his home in Leamington Spa.

Born in Rugby in 1933, John left school at 14 and persuaded the editor of the Rugby Advertiser to give him a job. He remained in the town for a number of years, later as chief reporter of the Coventry Telegraph’s Rugby office.

His son Simon, who also became a journalist, said: “Contacts gave him the nickname ‘Scoop’. During this time he began his involvement in the civic life of the town, and sang in several choirs, including the Rugby Philharmonic Society.”

After editing the Solihull News he became managing editor of the West Midlands Group and then editorial director of Berrows Newspapers, which became Reed Midland Newspapers. As well as his role in the Guild of Editors he also served on the Press Council, the press regulatory body of the time, and spent two years working with the Newspaper Society in London.

In the journalism-training sphere, he chaired the body responsible for the introduction and running of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and was chief external verifier of Journalism NVQs for the national awarding body. He also ran training courses accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), and was a consultant to other awarding bodies.

In his late 70s, during retirement, John gained a degree and then a masters in global history, from the University of Warwick. He also continued to indulge his passion for theatre by continuing to write reviews and also founded a local magazine, Cotswold Diamond.

Suffering from failing eyesight, he suffered a fall at his home in Leamington that led to a rapid decline and he died in Warwick Hospital, with family around him.

John is survived by his children Simon, Sarah, Jonathan, Joanna, and Laure.

The funeral will take place on Thursday, 17 May at 2.30pm at the South Chapel, Oakley Wood Crematorium, Bishops Tachbrook, near Leamington.

 

 

Bank backs skills development programmes

 Pictured (l-r) Brendan Cook, Head of Transformation at HSBC UK, Michaela Wright Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC UK and Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust.

Pictured (l-r) Brendan Cook, Head of Transformation at HSBC UK, Michaela Wright Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC UK and Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust.

Birmingham-based HSBC UK has renewed its partnership with The Prince’s Trust, enabling the charity to dedicate further resources to supporting young people to develop their employability skills.

The funding will also assist the Trust to innovate and trial new ways of helping young people.

The partnership renewal was announced when leaders from business and local government met at the new Prince’s Trust centre in Digbeth to build on their commitment to supporting Birmingham’s young people and providing increased access to jobs and skills.

“The Trust’s programmes across the UK have enabled thousands of young people to re-engage with education, training or employment,” said Ian Stuart, chief executive of HSBC UK, which first established links with the Trust in 2012. He added: “We know the benefits that the skills developed through these programmes can have in the workplace later on, both for employees and employers, and are committed to investing in programmes that help young people reach their potential.”

 

 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, commented: “Addressing the skills challenge in the region is one of my top priorities and I am delighted that The Prince’s Trust has chosen to develop their new skills hub in Birmingham. here is much to celebrate in the region, but we still have a great deal of work to do to ensure that everyone is sharing in this success. I am pleased to work in partnership with HSBC UK and The Prince’s Trust to give all of our young people an opportunity to succeed.”

The Prince’s Trust, which moved to its new premises in Digbeth in March 2018, will this year support 60,000 people in the UK to develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in life.

The centre aims to provide a safe environment in which The Trust can realise its commitment to supporting a further one million young people to realise their true potential over the next decade.

The charity runs a range of employability and enterprise programmes designed to help boost young people’s confidence and skills at venues across the UK, and also delivers a growing number of services remotely through Prince’s Trust Online.

 

This year, The Prince’s Trust will support around 60,000 young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in life.

 

Local newspapers no longer dominate. But they are responding to challenges, says report

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Local news organisations are investing in a digital future, restructuring newsrooms and diversifying business models, according to a new Reuters Institute report, The Digital Transition of Local News.

The study of news organisations in the UK, France, Germany and Finland found that local journalism remains valued and trusted by audiences and many local and regional media organisations are optimistic about the future of local news. Yet the transition from print to digital has also presented challenges. Some outlets have been forced to close bureaus or consolidate as they seek new sources of revenue and target new audiences. 

Most are also competing with platform companies such as Facebook and Google for advertising, while also relying on those companies to reach online audiences.

Findings:

  • Local and regional news organisations are investing in a digital future, including creating digital first newsrooms and adapting to audience needs.

  • Local media groups are experimenting with revenue generation, including implementing paywalls or paid subscriptions, events, members clubs and e-commerce.

  • Like many news organisations, local and regional outlets compete for advertising with platform companies such as Google and Facebook, but also rely on these companies to reach online audiences.

  • Pace of change varies between countries, but all news organisations in the sample still focus on their print product for revenues, while acknowledging the need to transition to digital. 

  • In the overall local news landscape, some local news outlets have been forced to shut bureaus or close completely, while others have consolidated. 

  • Local or regional media groups that have consolidated report belonging to a larger organisation provided greater access to relevant expertise and digital tools necessary to build their online presence.

  • Some news outlets report difficulties attracting and retaining young reporters: local media perceived as “not cool”, and wages are lower than at larger media organisations. 

Joy Jenkins, co-author, said: “Local newspapers, like other legacy media, are facing major challenges and no longer hold the dominant market position they once did.  But the newspapers in this report are also developing innovative ways to respond, from paid solutions journalism to collaborating with other newsrooms on digital initiatives to diversified business models, including in-house marketing firms, custom publishing, and events. They also enjoy a level of recognition and trust from their communities that will no doubt aid their continued transition.” 

Co-author Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (pictured) commented: “Local news is incredibly important for making sure people are informed about their communities and empowered to engage in them. It is also clear that the business model based on advertising that historically has funded local news is seriously challenged today. That is why it is so encouraging we have identified several different examples of how local newspapers are working to reinvent their journalism and their business to adapt to an increasingly digital, mobile, and platform-dominated media environment.”

 

 

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is a globally focused research centre at the University of Oxford that tracks the world’s media, its trends, developments and forecasts