Facebook investing £4.5m to train local reporters in the UK
Gillian Waddell, MD for Fuel PR responds to the Facebook news
Social media giant Facebook has announced a £4.5m training scheme for local UK newsrooms. The scheme consists of training 80 new local newsrooms through the NCTJ, a charity which offers formal training to aspiring journalists.
According to the Telegraph, Facebook will work with UK local newspaper publishers Newsquest, JPIMedia, Reach, Archant and the Midland News Association to oversee the hiring and training of new reporters. The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), the authority for training newspaper journalists, are also involved in the project.
Local newspapers remain vital in our communities especially amongst the older generation who may not have adopted social media in the way the younger generation have. I applaud Facebook for pledging funds to support local newspapers through a journalist training scheme. In an era of technological advances, I still believe the local newspaper has an important role to play in communications.
Local people on the whole trust their local newspaper to tell them what is going on in their area. In fact, they rely on their newspaper to tell them the truth and dispel rumour and myth. For them the real story is vital. Regional newspapers work hard to develop and maintain relationships with the community around them. They work hard to give a voice to people who feel that no-one is listening, they spread good news and shine a light on groups or activities for everyone to see. Regional newspapers endeavour to make the reader feel positive about the place they have made their home. Generally, readers of local press tend to be active members of the local community who want to stand up and be counted and contribute to the local debate.
I wish it was like the old days when our local newspaper was delivered daily via the paper boy through our letter box. I think the nibs at the back of the paper about a WI raffle, a cat stuck up a tree are as much to be treasured as the violent burglary or horrific fire that’s made the front page.
What do you think about Facebook’s new investment?