A content-sharing deal between the BBC and regional newspapers is set to be introduced across England.
As previously reported on HTFP, newspapers in Yorkshire and the North-East of England are currently involved in trial schemes which have seen the BBC’s local news websites display links to stories carried by participating titles in the area.
The newspapers themselves are free to choose which stories they want to be linked from the BBC’s ‘Local Live’ web feed, which updates readers on breaking news throughout the day.
The scheme will now be extended to the Birmingham area initially, with the new system expected to be up and running across the whole of England by the middle of 2016.
Newcastle sister dailies The Chronicle and The Journal, the Shields Gazette, Sunderland Echo, the Hartlepool Mail and the Darlington-based Northern Echo are among those to have taken part in the pilots.
The BBC says stories curated from external sites in the participating regions currently account for up to a quarter of the content featured on its feed.
The scheme has been agreed following talks between the BBC and representatives of “many” local news organisations.
Controller of BBC English Regions David Holdsworth said: “Both audiences and local newspapers should benefit from this improved linking.
“Now a wider choice of material will be available across England from not only inside – but outside the BBC – with the best external stories selected by the papers themselves.
“Local newspapers serve audiences across England and publish thousands more stories than the BBC every week.
“It is natural and healthy that journalists want to compete for stories, but this an example of a way the BBC can also contribute to a thriving local news market.”
Regional editors have long campaigned for the BBC to accredit local newspapers when it uses their stories, with some suggesting that they should pay for content.