The importance of local journalism

The importance of local journalism

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Local journalism – the living force of any community is somewhat of an unmissable step in a journalism career. But its importance has been recognised during the pandemic. Fantastic Covid coverage has been seen up and down the country – informing locals about the current situation. The Reuters Institute of Journalism says it has “been taken almost for granted”. It is “on its knees” according to one Guardian article – a worrying phrase for such an important aspect of our industry.

Local journalism is something which is multi-faceted – different layers of light hearted pieces, to crime statistics in the area – it offers important journalism which many local readers appreciate. 

I did a week’s worth of experience at a local newspaper in my university town. I was offered an oppurtunity to go to an inquest and to a crown court – both of which I grabbed with both hands. I loved the experience I got, the pieces I wrote and the people I met. Before this (admittedly short) week I had no interest in local journalism. I had a firm gaze on the big names in the industry – so firm that I had never even considered local journalism before that week.

Last year, Bureau Local decided to honour local journalism by setting up the #LoveLocalNews campaign. The hashtag brims with love for local news – it even displays stories that started out as local ones and that were swiftly picked up by nationals.

Local journalism has even made big name shows sit up and take note of its importance – including ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ who did this segment on the matter.

Local journalism matters immensely – not just to the communities it serves but to journalism itself. It doesn’t need to be left behind so perhaps walk into a newsagents and pick up the local paper to support its work.