Spare a thought for PR in the revival of local journalism

There are more journalists employed at any time during the past decade and more local news services – websites and newsletters such as Harrogate’s Stray Ferret, the Manchester Mill and Sheffield Tribune – set to be launched in 2022.

While there’s the usual uncertainty over the BBC’s future, for political reasons rather than audience demand, ITV has today announced that it’s doubling the length of its early evening news programme and taking on extra staff to ensure an improvement in its coverage of the whole of the UK or – as the broadcaster has apparently described it – “getting Britain right”.

Former restaurant owner and now foundry manager Paul McEnaney

Former restaurant owner and now foundry manager Paul McEnaney

After years of cuts and closures this revival in UK journalism is welcome news and hopefully audiences and readers will turn to the professionals rather than the fake news pedalled by keyboard warriors.

At the same time spare a thought for the PR people who are providing journalists – long since shackled to their desks – with the good local stories they do not have the resources to unearth.  The restaurant-owner turned foundry manager, for example, who is helping his employer overcome a skills shortage by encouraging others to consider switching careers; or the former retail manager who is forging a new future as a photographer after a mental breakdown.  He is determined to support other people with problems and was able to share his story with TV viewers after Steph’s Packed Lunch followed up his story in the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette.  Read more stories like these on this website.