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Radio 4 series puts national spotlight on local news

A former Guardian journalist is investigating Britain’s ‘hidden corners’ with the help of the people who know them best – local news reporters.

Local news is in the national spotlight once again this week as BBC Radio 4 airs¬†Inside Pages, a series of five programmes set in some of the country’s small towns.

The programme is presented by Ian Wylie, a former Guardian journalist and the first episode was broadcast yesterday.

Local journalists taking part in the series include Rich Gurner, publisher and editor of the Caerphilly Observer, Emily Collins, senior reporter at the Goole Times, Jon Cook, editor of A Little Bit of Stone, Jason Marshall, editor of the Hawick Paper, and Alison Stephenson, editor of the Tavistock Times Gazette.

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A BBC publicity blurb for the show stated: “Some of the towns are struggling, others are thriving. The one thing they have in common is they’re pretty much invisible in the eyes of the national media, even though they are home to tens of thousands of people.

“They don’t have football teams. They’re not pretty resorts that attract tourists. They can’t even claim to be a contested marginal seat that will determine the outcome of a general election.

“But our guides in these episodes are the passionate people who remain committed to telling the stories of what’s happening in their small towns.

“Through their newspapers, websites and social media posts they refuse to turn the page on local news reporting – often at some personal cost.”

The programme airs at 1.45pm from Monday 16th January to Friday 20th January on BBC Radio 4.

A TV show about the local press, called Hold The Front Page, is currently running on Sky.