A business boss has urged advertisers to rally behind the regional press after new figures revealed a readership boost for the industry.
Paul Knight, chief executive of marketing performance company OmniGOV, has called on the advertising community to “seize the opportunity” to invest in local media.
His call comes after new figures by the JICREG Life is Local database revealed online digital audiences for local titles online have increased by 17.9pc in the last year.
Around 37.6m people each month view local news online, according to the results.
In an opinion piece supporting the findings, Mr Knight wrote: “These powerful audience numbers show the critical role played by local media during the pandemic.
“The need for trusted and relevant local information increased demand for local journalism.
“And, by campaigning on behalf of local businesses, key workers and the public, local media has actively shaped and galvanised our response to the pandemic.
“Even as local news brands have endured the hostile effects on media of the past 18 months, local journalists have been working tirelessly on brilliant campaigns for local communities.”
Mr Knight, pictured, added the coroanvirus pandemic had “provided advertisers from all sectors with ample evidence to invest in news media”.
He wrote: “Trusted journalism has taken on increased importance in our lives and advertisers can benefit as a result.
“And this is as true for Government as it is for the businesses which will power our economy going forward.
“Now, it is up to the advertising community to seize the opportunity to align with this vital and unique force for good.”