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Where the new community news reporters will be based

Facebook-icon-1The locations of where the 82 new Facebook-funded community news reporters will be based have been revealed today.

As previously reported, 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, a full list of which can be seen below, were allocated according to several factors agreed by NCTJ and the publishers, focusing on areas currently without strong local coverage.

They include not only rural areas go but several city-based roles to allow for more in-depth reporting of specific communities, such as the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham, and Kensington and Chelsea.

It follows research undertaken to determine locations which did not have a newsroom, did not have a title with the name of the town/city in it, or had significant communities which were under-represented as a result of not having community news appearing in the established local news titles.

The 82 posts are being funded by a £4.5m investment from Facebook as part of its Journalism Project.

As covered elsewhere on HTFP today, it has also been announced this morning that four smaller publishers – the KM Group, Newbury Weekly News, Barnsley Chronicle and Baylis Media – are joining the project.

The twin announcements were made at a conference in Leicester organised by an industry website, Behind Local News.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher 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.”

Facebook’s head of news partnerships UK Nick Wrenn added: “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.”

David Higgerson, chief audience officer at Reach, said: “Establishing a genuine relationship between communities and their local newsrooms is a major step towards securing the future of local journalism.

“We’re all aware of the financial challenges faced by regional news in recent years – this project will go a long way to better serving more people.”

The breakdown of which regional publishers will be employing the new reporters is as follows:

Reach – 28
Newsquest – 23
JPIMedia – 19
Archant – 4
MNA Media – 3
KM Group – 2
Baylis Media – 1
Barnsley Chronicle – 1
Newbury Weekly News – 1

Total – 82

The list of locations where the reporters will be based is as follows:

Barnsley
Bedfordshire
Berkshire
Birmingham (2)
Blackburn
Blackpool
Bournemouth
Bradford (2)
Brighton
Bristol
Buckinghamshire
Cambridgeshire
Cardiff (2)
Cornwall
County Durham
Coventry
Cumbria
Derby
Derbyshire
Devon/Plymouth
Doncaster
Edinburgh (2)
Essex
Fife
Glasgow (2)
Gloucestershire
Hackney
Hampshire
Herefordshire
Hull
Kensington and Chelsea
Kent (2)
Leeds (2)
Leicester
Lewisham
Lincolnshire
Liverpool (2)
Maidenhead
Manchester (2)
Middlesbrough
Newbury
Newcastle (2)
Newport (2)
Norfolk
North East Wales
North West Wales
North Yorkshire
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottingham/Notts (2)
Oxfordshire
Peterborough
Portsmouth
Plymouth
Preston
Sheffield (2)
Shropshire
Somerset
Southampton
Stoke
Suffolk
Sunderland
Surrey
Sussex
Swansea
West Wales
Wiltshire
Wolverhampton (2)
Worcestershire

5 comments

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  • January 31, 2019 at 11:53 am
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    Says David: “Establishing a genuine relationship between communities and their local newsrooms is a major step towards securing the future of local journalism.’

    I’ve news for you Mr Higgerson. That’s how local journalism was until only a few years ago. Then corporates such as your own decided that profitability could only be maintained by cost cutting, instead of by developing products people wanted to read, and those links to the community were replaced by junior reporters stuck in offices trawling through Facebook (Oh, the ongoing irony) for stories.

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  • February 1, 2019 at 2:23 pm
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    80 jobs created. Rejoice at that news. It wasn’t that long ago that we were rueing the incessant news about redundancies. The trouble is that we’ve got so used to bad news that anything positive is automatically viewed with a liberal dollop of cynicism. As was stated recently, the local government roles are already starting to have a positive impact, so let’s reserve judgment on this latest scheme until we see how it plans out. We could all be pleasantly surprised.

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  • February 4, 2019 at 11:56 am
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    good news but this is really just re-inventing the wheel. It was once done as a matter of routine before newspaper management slashed staff levels and never restored them. Be interesting to see if coverage does actually improve.

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  • February 5, 2019 at 8:48 am
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    Can anyone tell me if this means 82 new roles? Or does it mean 82 current roles are going to be funded by FB and staff shifted around to cover the under-reported areas?

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  • February 5, 2019 at 3:21 pm
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    Everything has to come from America nowadays. Will the reporters be allowed to criticise Facebook, You Tube, Instagram, etc??

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