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'Fantastic' response to community news service

The Community Newswire, launched earlier this year to give charities and voluntary groups a way of telling local journalists their news, has hit its first big milestone by sending out its 1,000th story.

The news service is designed to help community groups boost their contact with the media – and has been hailed a success by The Media Trust and The Press Association, which set up the newswire in a joint initiative.

News editor Ben Pindar said: “The response has been fantastic, especially considering the summer is generally a quiet time for news.

“We’ve also been impressed with the quality of the stories and that has been reflected by the coverage they have got.

“Our message to the community and voluntary sector is keep your news coming.”

The service allows charities and voluntary groups to submit stories via, which journalists based at PA’s Howden offices then sift through before putting them on the regional newswires.

Organisers say hundreds of charities have already embraced the new service, with an average of 25 stories being chosen each day, and that newsdesks across the media industry have been making use of the newswire – including the Selby Post.

Deputy editor John Pole said: “It is a great resource and we use it a lot.

“Having the press releases turned into stories by PA saves our journalists time and effort and makes it easier for us to use them and serve our local community.”

Community Newswire manager for the Media Trust, Dominic O’Reilly, said: “We are particularly keen to help those groups that currently have little or no contact with the media.

“This is a one-stop shop for them to get their stories onto the news agenda and hitting our thousandth story so quickly proves the huge need for this service.

“I talk daily to community and voluntary groups around England to promote the service and advise them how to get the most out of it and the feedback has been universally excellent.”

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