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New book focuses on future of local media

A group of editors and other influential figures have come together to publish a book focusing on the future of local media.

‘What do we mean by local’ is being published next month with an evening reception in London to mark the launch.

Among the contributors are former regional daily editors Neil Fowler (Lincolnshire Echo, Derby Telegraph, The Journal and Western Mail), John Meehan (Exeter Express & Echo, Hull Daily Mail) and Paul Robertson (Teesside Gazette and Newcastle Evening Chronicle).

The book has been put together by Neil, former Press Gazette editor Ian Reeves and Coventry University lecturer John Mair.

Said John:  “The book looks in a 360 degree way and through the eyes of practitioners and academics at the perfect storm facing local and regional journalism which may end up with the ship on the rocks.

“It explains, analyses but also puts forward new alternatives like hyperlocal papers/blogs to reach out to the lost audiences.”

Other contributors include veteran entrepreneur Sir Ray Tindle, who has written the preface, and KM Group editorial director Ian Carter, whose chapter focuses on rethinking the meaning of ‘local.’

Several hyperlocal pioneers are also represented including Ross Hawkes (Lichfield Live), Mike Rawlins (Pits ‘n’ Pots) and Richard Coulter (filtonvoice).

Chris Oakley, who led a management buy-out of the Birmingham Post and Mail in 1991, has contributed a chapter entitled ‘The men who killed the regional press.’

And Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, has written a section headed ‘The future may be tough but it is not all gloomy.’

The book will be launched at 6.30pm on 27 March at Coventry University’s London campus, East India House, 109-117 Middlesex Street, London E1.

Tickets are £5 and places can be booked in advance at www.coventry.ac.uk/londoncampusevents

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