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Where the local democracy reporters will be based: The full breakdown

Scotland will get 20 local democracy reporters while Northern Ireland will get just three under the partnership between the BBC and the regional press to ensure coverage of councils and public bodies.

The BBC has today revealed how many journalists will cover each geographic area under its proposed local democracy reporting scheme.

A total of 138 jobs are set to be created under the taxpayer-funded scheme, which will see reporters employed by regional press groups to cover councils and other public bodies from this summer.

The regional breakdown is set out in the BBC graphic below while the full list, including the allocation for each major local authority area, can be seen here.

Where the new local democracy reporters will be based.  Source:  BBC website

Where the new local democracy reporters will be based. Source: BBC website

A total of 54 contracts are up for grabs, while proposed geographic ‘bundles’ have been put forward showing the number of reporters each region could receive.

Scotland will receive 20 reporters split equally into groups of four across five different regions, while three will cover the whole of Northern Ireland and 11 are allocated to Wales.

In the North of England, the North-West will get 18, the North-East and Yorkshire get 10 apiece, 14 will cover the West Midlands, while the East Midlands gets half that number.

The South-East, excluding London, gets 14, while the capital itself will receive 12 and the South-West gets 11.

Eight journalists will cover the East, half of which will be allocated to Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, while the other four will be split equally between Essex and East Anglia.

The only two patches to be covered by one reporter apiece are Derbyshire, in the East Midlands region, and the Isle of Man, which is counted as part of the North-West.

More details on how the scheme will work have been set out in a blog post on the BBC website by Matthew Barraclough, editor BBC Journalism Working Group who is overseeing the project.

Said Matthew: “I believe what we’ve agreed will extend the reach of BBC journalism, will help support local news generally and build a better understanding of local democracy. Now the priority is to turn these plans into reality.”

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  • February 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    This announcement sets me to thinking: If one newspaper at the heart of a particular patch dedicates itself to covering councils and other such public bodies while another, rival publication is based miles off patch, is under-staffed and dedicates the scant resource it does have to website listicles, how can it be fair that the poorly resourced title will benefit from good council coverage, putting it on an equal footing with a title that actually dedicates time, effort, and its own money to covering its patch properly?

    This seems to me to be an excuse for cynical newspaper groups, who, for the most part these days, are interested only in cheap website clicks, to get free copy at the expense of those remaining publications that care.

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