IT MAY seem grim for the regional print press at the moment – the latest audited circulation figures show a drop of more than 11 per cent in a year. And the plight of local papers even features in the current storyline of the hit TV series Broadchurch, where the local newspaper is facing closure, even as a big crime story breaks under its nose.
Yet the news is not all bad. I’ve spent the past few days judging the best of local journalism for the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards and there are many sparkling entries, whether it be holding local government to account or gripping human interest features and sports stories.
“Read all about it,” used to be the news vendor’s cry in the great days of massive circulations. The fact is that there is still as much to read about – and the bulk of the regional press is better than ever. Those who have given up the regional news habit just don’t realise what goodies they are missing.