In the digital age, there is a lot of talk about the decline of print media, on both a local and national level. However, local newspapers play a crucial role in people’s lives, providing them with a reliable source of information concerning the immediate world around them.
In honour of local newspapers, we at MediaHQ have decided to pay homage to them, by compiling our top three reasons why local newspapers are so important.
1) It is the main way that local problems are addressed
News industries concerning national and international news are consistently growing , with more and more programmes and blogs providing their own take on the problems of the day. This allows for these issues to be adequately addressed and makes the public aware of them. However, with local issues, usually local newspapers are their only potential source of coverage and exposure. Without your local paper, you would be caught off-guard by developments in your area much more often. Local issues are often more pressing on the average person than national developments. For example, a new bus route in your area may have much more of a direct impact upon your life than the government signing a new trade deal. Local newspapers allow the people to become aware of the issues which affect them the most.
2) They are a training ground for new journalists
Most aspiring journalists do not begin working in national media straight after leaving college. Local newspapers provide first jobs for many budding journalists, who will gain valuable experience while writing for them. This in turn provides a more talented and experienced pool of workers for the national news media to choose from, which ideally allows for an increase in the overall standard of journalism, both on the local and national levels. Without local newspapers to train the journalists of tomorrow, other forms of news media would decrease in quality, which would be worse for society as a whole.
3) They legitimise local achievements
Just because an achievement isn’t ground-breaking on a national level does not mean that that achievement is not worth reporting on. Whether it is the local football club’s match results, or a charity initiative in a local school, or a curious discovery made by a local resident, our lives are filled with notable events. Local newspapers make these achievements feel more important by sharing them with your community, fostering a greater feeling of community spirit. In Ricky Gervais’ latest Netflix show, After Life, the main character who writes for a local paper comes to a conclusion about their purpose. He says that “local papers aren’t just to be read, they’re there for being in”. People will feel proud if they make it into the local paper, and it confirms to them that they belong to a local community which respects and appreciates them and their achievements. In the era of fake news, a return to your local newspaper might provide the increasingly-absent feeling of a nice, wholesome story.
To contact your local media professionals, MediaHQ has you covered. For more information, click here or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.