The 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:
Kensington and Chelsea
North East Wales
North West Wales