A new report on the state of local news in the UK

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BU Researchers Dr Daniel Jackson and Dr Einar Thorsen, alongside researchers Gordon Neil Ramsay and Des Freedman launched a new report: Mapping changes in local news 2015-2017 More bad news for democracy? to a packed house at Westminster.

Speakers included: Aasma Day, the investigative reporter and lifestyle editor at the Lancashire Post, Professor Robert McChesney, Justin Schlosberg from the Media Reform Coalition and NUJ president Tim Dawson.

The report is published by BU’s Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community in collaboration with the National Union of Journalists, the Political Studies Association and the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King’s College London. This report maps recent changes in the state of local news provision in the UK including newspapers, broadcast and digital.

In the report they document how:

▶ The majority of the UK (57.9%) is not served by a local daily newspaper.

▶ 45% of local authority districts are served by a single publisher.

▶ Local daily papers are overwhelmingly located in major urban areas.

▶ 77.1% of local newspaper titles are owned by the big five local newspaper publishers.

▶ Another 418 local journalism jobs have been lost in the last 17 months.

They also argue for a range of interventions that could help alleviate the democratic crisis that is emerging through a lack of local journalism in the UK.

This report will interest academics, journalists, activists and policymakers concerned with the state of local news in the the UK.

A PDF of the report is available here.

More details of the local news mapping project and 2015 report is available here.

To learn more about the NUJ Local News Matters campaign and to find out how to get involved, please visit here

MPs will debate in Parliament the state of the UK’s local media and an early day motion has been tabled calling for sustainable investment in professional local and regional news provision online, in newspapers , on radio and television.