Local News Coverage Gets a Boost

Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Leicester and Wolverhampton are amongst the locations of where 82 new Facebook-funded community news reporters will be based.

The social media giant is partnering with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and nine regional publishers to fund new reporters to be based in under-reported communities.

The locations, which also include Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Lincolnshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, were allocated according to several factors agreed by NCTJ and the publishers, focusing on areas currently without strong local coverage.

Facebook is funding the 82 posts of £4.5m investment as part of its Journalism Project.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher (pictured) said: “This project will help ensure that many underserved communities will have the strong local coverage they deserve. Journalists need to understand and listen to the voices in these communities and the issues that affect their day-to-day lives.

“To do that effectively they need to be there and to have the right skills and reporting expertise. It’s great to see a mix of locations, from remote rural communities to big inner cities, that will add diverse views and coverage to our local journalism,” she said.

Nick Wrenn, Facebook’s head of News Partnerships UK, commented: “We’re excited to see the Community News Project come to life. Our hope is that, ultimately, the project helps more people access the news that matters to them most and promotes quality local news in underserved areas of the UK.”

Reach plc, Midland News Association and Newsquest are amongst those who will be employing the new reporters.