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Local News Needs You

by Chris | Reviews, Websites

Local news is more than a cat finder. Some say democracy requires it, yet the internet is killing it. Can Inyourarea.co.uk save it?

Great Scott! The digital revolution has taken a dystopian detour. Social media has bled the news industry dry, transfusing it with premature opinions, click-bait and fake news. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The inventor of the web gifted it to us for free, but “platforms” (Google, Facebook, Amazon) have since double-parked their monopolies on it, while buying out anyone who challenges them and dodging most of their taxes and responsibilities to the public. More here. And a book about it here.

It’s even worse for the local newspaper industry, which the National Union of Journalists says is in “free-fall”. Since 2005 more than 200 local papers have closed and half of regional journalists have lost their jobs. About 58% of the country has no local paper, and has to rely on national news (from London) or social media. Just weeks ago Johnston Press, publisher of 200 additional local titles went bust…

As our attention turns to the screen, it becomes the main currency, while truth and balance is consigned to the boring pages. What’s happening near you is, admittedly, not (normally) sexy, but I think it is important, or at the very least, useful:

Who needs your help or your unwanted stuff.
Who can offer theirs to you.
What that commotion around the corner is all about.
What local businesses you’d happily support if you knew existed.
Who’s planning what imposing extension.
Which local eateries to avoid…

This is what you find on Inyourarea.co.uk. Imagine a Facebook feed, but for your local area, funded by the advertisers looking for local business, instead of behaviour “surveillance“. 

We’re happy to announce a new partnership between PMP and IYA, and we look forward to bringing you more local stuff with their help very soon, as well as a follow-up post telling you more about how it all works.

Inyourarea.co.uk is owned by The Mirror Group (now called Reach) who are another massive local newspaper publisher, so it has enough (erm..) reach to make it useful. I’ve been a member for a few months, and I enjoy perusing it when I have a spare moment.

All you need is a postcode and email address (if you want the daily/weekly updates). I hope that sounds reassuringly familiar 🙂